AAE Applications open!!

Publish Date: January 8, 2018 Posted By: raca

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is now accepting entries for the Annual Awards of Excellence 2018. 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 2017.

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 2018.


Enter via the website www.royalacademyofculinaryarts.org.uk

For more information please contact
Daniel Moriss-Jeffery at the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

Tel: 020 8673 6300 / E-mail: daniel@raoca.org.uk




Selection is based on written entries. Successful candidates will go forward to regional quarter-finals semi-finals in February and Semi-finals 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 2018 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 2018. 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 2018:ACT Clean; Berkmann Wine Cellars (product); Evolve Hospitality Recruitment; Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers; Champagne Laurent-Perrier; Maldon Crystal Salt Company; L’Unico Caffe Musetti; Savoy Educational Trust (Scholarship); Speyside Glenlivet (product); Wedgwood; Woods Foodservice; The Caterer (Media Partner).


Service Quarter-Final London - Saturday 17th February, The Langham

Service Quarter-Final Scotland - Monday 19th February, Gleneagles


Service Semi-Final London - Saturday 17th March, The Ritz

Service Semi-Final Scotland - Monday 19th March, Trump Turnberry

Kitchen Semi-Final Regional - Wednesday 11th April, University of West London, Westminster Kingsway College, University College Birmingham

Pastry Semi-Final Birmingham – Wednesday 11th April, University College Birmingham


Service Final London - May, Venue TBC

Service Final Scotland - Saturday 19st May, Gleneagles

Kitchen Final London - Wednesday 6th June, University of West London or Westminster Kingsway College

Pastry Final Birmingham – Tuesday: 19th June, University College Birmingham


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 2018: 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 HYWEL JONES, Executive Chef, Lucknam Park
  • 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 Company