Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Names Winners of Awards of Excellence

Annual Awards Excellence RACA chef hospitality
02/07/2018 - 12:47
The Royal Academy of Excellence has released the names of 21 talented individuals who have successfully met the criteria for the Annual Awards of Excellence.

The award examines candidates on their ability to reach the standard of excellence set by a board of judges. The purpose of the awards is to showcase the talent of individuals in their chosen profession of Kitchen, Pastry or Service.

The award is currently the most prestigious prize available to young people working within hospitality. It is open to young professionals aged between 20 and 26 and sets the pathway for highly successful careers. 

All of the candidates who score over 70% in the tasks set and judged by industry luminaires are awarded with the AAE. The entrant who achieves the highest marks in their section is named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef or Young Waiter 2018. On the board of judges is John Williams MBE, Executive Chef for The Ritz London and Chairman of the RACA.

The RACA makes clear that the award is not a competition, saying that throughout the process of achieving the award the participants benefit from a unique learning experience.

The winning candidates are invited to a Gala Dinner at Claridge’s on Tuesday 10th July, at which they will be presented with a diploma recognising their achievement.


  • 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 Trante                     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


Honorary President of the AAE 2018: JASON ATHERTON, Chef Patron, The Social Company

Chairman of the AAE: JOHN WILLIAMS MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London

Joint Chairmen of Kitchen: MARTYN NAIL, Executive Chef, Claridge’s and HYWEL JONES, Head Chef, Restaurant Hywel Jones

Joint Chairmen of Pastry: YOLANDE STANLEY MCA, The Pastry Training Company & SARAH HARTNETT, Pastry Consultant

Joint Chairmen of Service: SERGIO REBECCHI, Director, Serenata Hospitality and JOHN COUSINS, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company

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