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RACA award winners announced

03 July 2018

Winners of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) Annual Awards of Excellence 2018 have been announced.

Launched in 1983, the annual initiative aims to recognise the best chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, with more than 600 young professionals receiving recognition within the awards to date.

In addition to inspiring young catering professionals to achieve the highest standards, the awards also offers guidelines for successful career paths.

Candidates have to receive a score of more than 70% in the tasks set and judged by the adjudication team.

This included The Ritz London executive chef John Williams MBE, chair of the judging team and the RACA.

Kitchen Finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter, using ingredients from a mystery box, where crab was the central component; four portions of a classic Alain Ducasse pigeon dish; roast squab pigeon, pommes dauphine and diable sauce plated on a flat; and finally their own modern interpretation of an gooseberry dessert from the entry task each candidate had previously prepared.

Pastry Finalists had five and a half hours to produce 12 allumettes, 16 dipped chocolates with a raspberry ganache centre of their choice; 16 sable tartlets and 16 creative financiers, and finally a sugar stand with a flower to incorporate the theme of a summer fairground.

Service Finalists were required to decant and describe wine to the judging panel, as well as set up and serve a 3 course meal with wines to a table of two guest judges.

Gercelynn Mae Dionio, Restaurant Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa)
Connor Farrer, The Ritz London
Faye De Souza, Restaurant Associates, Deloitte
Frederick Smith, The Pig on the Beach
Jade Stevens, Restaurant Hywel Jones (Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa)
Andrew Tranter, Trinity

Sophie Bamford, 21, Newcastle
Nicholas Bentley, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons
Bastien Carriou, Harrods
Nikola Krikavova, Hakkasan, Hanway Place

Dimitri Auriant, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Alessandro Bello, The Ritz London
Catarina Caldeira, The Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Stockross
Elizabeth Forkuoh, The Strathearn - The Gleneagles Hotel
Giovanna Gucciardo, Le Gavroche
Valerija Kirjackaja, The Ritz London
Ryan Kenyon, André Garrett at Cliveden House
Marion Pépin, Core by Clare Smyth
Andrea Saccogna, The Woodspeen
Bethan Sampson, Pollen Street Social

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