Finalists demonstrate the art of service at the National Final of The Gold Service Scholarship

The top eight National Finalists of this year’s Gold Service Scholarship competed on Monday, 8 February in an exciting service challenge at The Connaught Hotel in London. – News from The Gold Service Scholarship

The finalists were tasked with planning, preparing and serving a three course lunch, including Champagne and wines, to a table of four. As part of the National Final, finalists were also required to complete a written order of service before commencing with the preparation of service.

Sophia Warland, one of this year’s National Finalists, said: “I was really looking forward to the service challenge and have been preparing since the Regional Final. The National Final is a fantastic opportunity to serve a meal and showcase my skills to some leading industry figures. It has been an amazing day and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

Alastair Storey, Chairman of the Trustees and Chairman of BaxterStorey, lead sponsor of The Gold Service Scholarship, said: “We have been thrilled with quality of candidates in this year’s competition and after this final we will have a tough task to choose the final winner. The service challenge is designed to test the finalists in all areas of service and we have certainly seen best in class performances today.”

Willy Bauer, founder of The Gold Service Scholarship and Chairman of AB Hotels said: “It has been an exciting competition from start to finish and the National Final has really demonstrated the high level of talent that exists in the hospitality industry. We have been delighted with the level of support we have received from across the industry including from our lead sponsor Baxter Storey as well as Buckingham Palace, Claridge’s, The Connaught, Restaurant Associates and The Gosling Foundation.”

Silvano Giraldin, a Trustee and a Founding member said: “Service is a very important part of a restaurant experience and when it is done to perfection it becomes an art that you appreciate, you don’t see it, you take it for granted but you only notice and criticise it when it is missing or badly done. The Gold Service Scholarship celebrates these skills.”

Now in its fourth year, The Gold Service Scholarship is an annual competition for young, front of house professionals working in the hospitality industry. The winner will receive a bespoke prize package of mentoring opportunities, travel and placements from a group of the most senior service professionals in the country.

This year’s National Finalists include:
• Sophia Warland, RAF Odiham, Hampshire
• Christoph Schrottenbaum, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London
• Tom Noller, Sexy Fish, London
• Stephanie Beresforde, Scott’s Restaurant, London
• James Parums, Buckingham Palace, London
• Jennifer Santner, Fenchurch Restaurant, London
• Innes Haywood, L’Enclume, Cumbria
• Charlie Lee, Fera at Claridge’s, London

The winner of this year’s Gold Service Scholarship will be announced on Tuesday, 16 February at the Awards ceremony held at Claridge’s.


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