Awards of Excellence

Supporting the chefs of the future

Wellocks was pleased to support the Chefs and Pastry Chefs Finals of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Awards of Excellence 2017.

The finals took place at various venues including the University of West London, The Connaught, Le Gavroche and The Gleneagles Hotel. The awards programme is designed to give young chefs currently working in the industry a learning experience and encourage them to reach the highest possible standard. The chefs are tested on a range of food preparation skills and needed to show competence in a range of dishes plus creativity and skills in baking and plating desserts.

Wellocks supported the finals by donating fresh produce including strawberries, blueberries and the more unusual golden raspberries. The fresh, top quality ingredients helped these young professionals create dishes to the standards expected by the tough judging panel which included Jason Atherton, Chef-Patron of Michelin-starred The Social Company.

For the Kitchen Finalists, the task was to prepare four portions of a vegetable-based starter, four portions of a quail dish, a turbot a la Normande plated on a flat and their own interpretation of an English summer berry dish – all in the space of five and a half hours. Pastry Chef Finalists had the same amount of time to produce 24 dipped chocolates with a ganache centre, a chocolate stand with at least three flowers, 12 individual savarins using mixed summer fruits and four portions of crepe soufflé.

Winners were those who scored over 70% in each challenge set. In total, there were 23 winners across the three categories; kitchen, pastry and service.

Chef winners of the Kitchen category were:

Olivia Catherine Burt                    Fera at Claridge’s

Samuel King                                     The Ritz London

Henry Wadsworth                          Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Tom Waters                                       Bonhams Restaurant

Fergus Wilford                                 Andre Garrett at Cliveden

In the Pastry category, the four winners were:

Harry Barber                                    Hakkasan

Elena Bockshecker                        Harrods

Alan Holloway                                 Claridge’s

Mathilde Pilaete                             Alfred Dunhill

Following the finals, all 23 winners will be invited to a Gala Dinner and award presentation at the Rosewood London on 14 July. The three candidates with the highest scores in their category will be announced at the dinner and they will become the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the year. The winners will each receive a trophy along with prizes including a travel scholarship, courtesy of the Savoy Educational Trust.

Jason, the Honorary President of the Annual Awards of Excellence, announced the winners of both the Pastry and Kitchen categories and praised all the competitors who had received the award. He said: “Everyone should be proud of what they have achieved today, as many chefs before them have come back year after year to gain the award.”