The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is now accepting entries for the Annual Awards of Excellence 2017. Applicants must currently be working full-time in the UK as a Chef, Pastry Chef or Waiter and should be aged between 20 and 26 on 31st December 2016.

The AAE is the most prestigious award available to young professionals in the hospitality industry today, recognising and encouraging the most talented ambitious Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Waiters.  Since it began in 1983 over 550 young professionals have won the Award, providing opportunities for a successful career path.

The AAE is an examination rather than a competition; all or none of the candidates can achieve the award depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges. All those who successfully reach this standard will win the AAE. In addition the winning candidate who scores the highest marks in each section will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year 2017.

Entry forms can be obtained from Ilisha Waring at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts
Tel: 020 8673 6300 / E-mail:
or can be downloaded here

Selection is based on written entries. Successful candidates will go forward to regional semi-finals in March/April and finals in May/June 2017 where they will be tested on a wide range of skills.

All Finalists will be presented with a certificate and bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne at the National finals in May/June.
All winners will be invited to a Gala Presentation Dinner in July 2017 where they will receive a chefs jacket or lapel pin, a diploma recognising their achievement and a magnum of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
All winners of the AAE become Alumni of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
The highest scoring winner in each section (Kitchen, Pastry and Service) will be announced at the Gala Presentation Dinner where they will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year 2017. Each will each receive prizes worth over £2000, including MAC knives thanks to Continental Chef Supplies, Meyer cookware, a specially commissioned engraved Silver trophy, work experience at The Fat Duck and a bursary from the Savoy Educational Trust which will take the form of an educational trip. Past trips include visits to New Orleans, Dubai, Mexico, Champagne, Tuscany, Barbados, St Lucia, Los Angeles, Hong Kong & Shanghai, and Quebec.

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is immensely grateful to the sponsors of the AAE 2017:
ACT CleanBerkmann Wine Cellars (product); Evolve Hospitality RecruitmentFederation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers;Champagne Laurent-PerrierMaldon Crystal Salt CompanyL’Unico Caffe MusettiSavoy Educational Trust (Scholarship); Speyside Glenlivet(product); WedgwoodWoods FoodserviceThe Caterer (Media Partner).

Saturday 18th March, London Service Semi-final, The Ritz Hotel
Monday 20th March, Scottish Service Semi-final, Turnberry Resort
Wednesday 12th April, Regional Pastry Semi-finals
Wednesday 12th & 19th April, Regional Kitchen Semi-finals

Tuesday 2nd May, London Service Final, The Connaught Hotel
Saturday 13th May, London Service Final, Le Gavroche
Monday 22nd May, Scottish Service Final, The Gleneagles Hotel
Wednesday 7th June, Kitchen Final, University of West London
Wednesday 7th June, Pastry Final, University of West London

- ENDS -
For further information please contact Ilisha Waring
Tel: 020 8673 6300 / E-mail:
Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, 53 Cavendish Road, London SW12 0BL
Follow us on Twitter @AcadCulArts #AAE2017

Editor’s Note:

Leading the hospitality profession by example - shaping the future through education.
Founded in 1980, the Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s highly influential, leading professional association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Restaurant Managers and suppliers. The ‘Royal’ title was gifted to the Academy of Culinary Arts in 2013. While concerned with raising standards and awareness of food, food provenance, cooking and service, its objectives are primarily focused on the education and training of young people in the hospitality industry and the provision and development of career opportunities.
Patron of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

The purpose of the Awards is to inspire and encourage young professionals to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession – Kitchen, Pastry or Service – and to offer them clear guidelines for success in their career. To participate in the AAE is a great learning experience in itself. It is not a competition as there is no first, second and third place, but instead any number of candidates can achieve the standard of excellence set by leading figures within the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and the hospitality industry.

Good basic skills are the essential cement with which young, ambitious members of the catering industry can build a rewarding career, while more taxing tasks help to identify the best cooks and waiters of today who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Chefs can be tested on a variety of food preparation and cookery tasks from making a salad to butchery skills and must demonstrate that they can prepare a variety of dishes including soups and dessert and a piece of their own free interpretation.

Pastry Chefs will be expected to demonstrate the ability to work with many different kinds of materials including detailed chocolate and sugar work and a creative presentation piece, whilst having an excellent grounding in baking and plated desserts.

Waiters are tested on their knowledge and skills in a wide range of food and beverage service aspects including product knowledge, technical service skills, interpersonal skills and teamwork.

Honorary President of the AAE 2017: JASON ATHERTON, Chef Patron, The Social Company
Chairman of the AAE: JOHN WILLIAMS MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz
Joint Chairmen of Kitchen: MARTYN NAIL, Executive Chef, Claridge’s and ADAM BYATT, Chef Patron, Trinity
Joint Chairmen of Pastry: YOLANDE STANLEY MCA, Trainer, The Pastry Training Company and SARAH HARTNETT, Pastry Consultant
Joint Chairmen of Service: SERGIO REBECCHI, Director, Serenata Hospitality and JOHN COUSINS, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company