Réunion des Gastronomes Award finalists announced

(L to R) Finalists: Raul Martinez, The Arts Club; Yacine Bezegouche of The Hilton Bankside; Paul Clarkson of The Clink
24/07/2017 - 12:49
Designed as a celebration of excellence in professional food and beverage services, the inaugural Réunion des Gastronomes Awards has announced this year’s three finalists.

As part of the selection process, the shortlisted candidates - Yacine Bezegouche, restaurant and bar manager at The Hilton Bankside; Paul Clarkson, head chef trainer at The Clink, Brixton and Raul Martinez, brasserie manager at The Arts Club - have already been guests of the judging panel at one of the monthly events organised by the Gastronome, and face one final interview.

The winner will be announced during the organisation’s 99th Annual Banquet at The Langham, 24 November. Taking home four two-day placements across different industry sectors, as well as invitations to five Gastronome events throughout the year and a Réunion des Gastronomes Associate membership for up to four years, the winner will also benefit from the number of mentoring and networking opportunities that this offers.

Serge Pradier, general manager of the Institute of Directors said: "The total prize value for the winner is believed to be worth in excess of £3,000, but the mentoring and potential career enhancement he will be offered as a result of his prize is priceless.

“We were really impressed with the calibre of all the entrants, and it wasn't an easy decision to select the original shortlist, let alone hone it down to the three finalists.

“There is so much talent in our industry and it is most encouraging to learn the career aspirations and of challenges that our finalists have already overcome to achieve their goals. The next stage of the judging will be even more difficult but just as rewarding, I'm sure."

The judging panel comprises: Alison Frith, managing director of Artizian Catering Services; hospitality consultant Theresa Maw; Wally Vincent, executive secretary of the Master Innholders, (vice president of the Réunion). The chairman of the judges is John Cousins, director of The Food & Beverage Training Company.

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