Publish Date: July 29, 2022 Posted By: Daniel Moriss-Jeffery

The leading lights of the hospitality industry came together on Monday 25th July at Rosewood London to celebrate the winners of the Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE). The evening was hosted by John Williams MBE, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and Sergio Rebecchi Chairman of Service for the Annual Awards of Excellence. The candidate who scored the highest mark in each section was announced as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the year:

KITCHEN: Thomas Fenemer, Junior Sous Chef at The Newt in Somerset

PASTRY: Caitlin Walsh, Pastry Demi Chef de Partie at Harrods, London

SERVICE: Daniela Mayer, Assistant Restaurant Manager, at The Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland

The Gala Dinner also celebrated a further 28 talented young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, who successfully achieved the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Award of Excellence 2022 in finals held in May and June (full list in editors notes).

To achieve the award candidates had to attain a score of over 70% in the tasks set and judged by industry luminaries chaired by John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London, and Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (see end for full list of judges).

Daniela Mayer, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel:

"I feel extremely excited! After all the rounds of the competition, I was of course hoping to win but certainly didn’t expect it, so when it was announced it was such a shock to the system and I feel very honoured to be named Young Waitress of the Year."

Caitlin Walsh, Pastry Demo Chef De Partie, Harrods:
"I’m so shocked, but very grateful. I didn’t expect to be awarded Young Pastry Chef of the Year, but I’m completely honoured and beyond happy.
Being here at the Rosewood is amazing and the whole AAE process was a testing and rewarding experience. I never pictured anything like this happening in my career and would encourage anyone to enter the competition!"
Thomas Fenemer, Junior Sous Chef, The Newt in Somerset:
"I feel really excited, can’t wait to get back to the kitchen and show the youngsters what I’ve done and hopefully encourage them to get them to get back on it next year - I’m really proud and grateful to the Academy for the opportunity."

John Williams, Chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts said:

“The Annual Awards of Excellence provides a much-needed opportunity to showcase the exemplary talent of our brightest young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters working throughout our culinary and hospitality industries. I hope that by taking part in the process, all candidates are motivated and inspired to continually better themselves through training and experiences, and then pass their knowledge onto others as they progress through their careers.”

Richard Larkin, Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts said:

“The Annual Awards of Excellence remains the essence of the Academy’s education philosophy and was, in 1983 when it was launched, the first of the Academy’s many initiatives that have raised the bar and set standards for the industry over the past three decades.”

Kitchen Finalists had five hours to produce four portions of a starter, using ingredients from a mystery basket, where globe artichoke and poached egg were the central components and had to shine through; a single salmon en croute following a recipe; and finally four portions of their own interpretation of a strawberry vegan dessert.

Pastry Finalists had five and a half hours to produce 30 canapes, comprising of 10 millefeuille, 10 sweet bouches and 10 savoury bouches; six verrines suitable for vegans and containing seasonal fruits; and finally two Sacher Torte following a recipe from the late Professor John Huber.

Service Finalists were tested in their mise en place, silver service skills filleting a dover sole, and decanting and describing wines, to a table of two guest judges.

- ENDS –

For further information please contact Daniel Moriss-Jeffery 

Tel: 020 8673 6300 / E-mail: 

Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Westminster Kingsway College, 76 Vincent Square, London SW1P 2PD 

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AAE 2022 Achievers


Alessandro Molica, Sous Chef, Buck's Club

Anastacia Krivorukova, Commis Chef, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie

Daniel Robb, Junior Chef de Partie, The Strathearn, Gleneagles

Fern Lawrence, Head Pastry Chef, Garrick Club

Lillian Savage, Demi Chef De Partie, Royal Household

Miranda Cook, Demi Chef De Partie, HSBC Canary Wharf, Restaurant Associates

Scott Pepper, Demi Chef De Partie, Boodle's

Thomas Fenemer, Junior Sous Chef, The Newt in Somerset


Caitlin Walsh, Pastry Demi Chef De Partie, Harrods

Elliott Welsh, Pastry Chef, 21 Newcastle, 21 Hospitality Group

Mignon Strydom, Demi Chef De Partie, The Dorchester.


Andrea Perissinotta, Head Waiter, Galvin At Windows

Daniela Mayer, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel

Davide Esposito, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Ned Hotel

Fanny Descouts, Head Waitress, Savoy Grill Gordon Ramsay

Florian David, Maitre d’Hotel, The Waterside Inn

Francesca Merico, Restaurant Supervisor, 21 Hospitality Group Newcastle

Giulia D’Angelo, Waiter/Sommelier, Trivet Restaurant

Laetitia Decure, Hostess, The Promenade at The Dorchester

Max Lawrence, Junior Assistant Restaurant Manager, L’Enclume

Megan Wain, Restaurant Supervisor, The Promenade at The Dorchester

Michele Toto, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Ritz London

Rizwan Khan, General Manager, Junsei Marylebone

Rogan Galea, F&B Duty Manager of the 1887 Restaurant, The Torridon

Romy Diplexcito, Chef de Rang, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, The Gleneagles Hotel

Serena Buono, Bar Supervisor, Royal Automobile Club;

Severino Fascendini, Assistant Restaurant Manager, The Clockspire Restaurant and Bar.

Zilbehar Asani, Head Waiter, The Lanesborough


Honorary President of the AAE 2022: JASON ATHERTON, Chef Patron, The Social Company

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

Joint Chairmen of Kitchen: MARTYN NAIL, HYWEL JONES, Executive Chef, Lucknam Park

Joint Chairmen of Pastry: YOLANDE STANLEY MCA, Trainer, The Pastry Training Company and SARAH HARTNETT, Buckingham Palace

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


The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is immensely grateful to the sponsors of the AAE 2022. ACT Clean; Berkmann Wine Cellars (product); Evolve Hospitality Recruitment; Maple From Canada; Champagne Laurent-Perrier; Maldon Crystal Salt Company; L’Unico Caffe Musetti; Savoy Educational Trust (Scholarship); William Edwards; Woods Foodservice; WPA Healthcare; The Caterer (Media Partner) The Staff Canteen (Media Partner).


The winning candidates were invited to a Gala Dinner at Rosewood London on Monday 25th July, at which they were presented with a diploma recognising their achievement. All finalists were presented with a magnum of Laurent-Perrier champagne and Kitchen and Pastry finalists were presented with a chef’s jacket (thanks to Bragard), whilst Service finalists were presented with a lapel pin. The candidate who scored the highest mark in each section – the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef or Young Waiter of the year – was announced at the dinner and was presented with prizes including a scholarship, thanks to the Savoy Educational Trust, a specially commissioned engraved Silver Trophy and work experience at The Fat Duck, thanks to Heston Blumenthal and Pollen Street social thanks to Jason Atherton.


Leading the hospitality profession by example - shaping the future through education.

Founded in 1980, the Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s 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 through apprenticeships and awards and the provision and development of career opportunities.

Patron of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.