Annual Awards of Excellence

The Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE), established in 1983, are the most prestigious awards available to young people in the hospitality industry today.

By recognising the most talented up and coming chefs, pastry chefs and waiters, these remain the only awards to cover all three categories of kitchen, pastry and service. The AAE is not just a competition but an examination, which means that every candidate has the chance to take home an award. It all comes down to their ability to meet the level of skill and excellence demanded by the judges. The top-scoring recipients of the AAE in each category will also be presented with the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year awards. Each year the Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of The Year are awarded a once in a lifetime scholarship trip. You can read the 2017 winners trip reports below: Elena Bockshecker, Young Pastry Chef of The Year 2017 – LA Trip Report Lewis Hunter, Young Waiter of The Year 2017 – LA Trip Report Henry Wadsworth, Young Chef of The Year 2017 – LA Report

Who can enter?

Young people (aged 20-26) and working full-time in the UK as chefs, pastry chefs or waiters. Each entrant must submit an essay and (for chefs) a recipe ahead of a skills test within each discipline.

Chefs can be tested on a variety of food preparation and cookery tasks, from making a salad to butchery skills. They must demonstrate that they can prepare a number 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, as well as 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. These include product knowledge, technical service skills, interpersonal skills and teamwork.

Past Winners

A full list of past Annual Awards of Excellence winners can be seen here: AAE past winners 1988 -2019

Why you should enter?

Becoming an Annual Awards of Excellence winner has propelled many young careers over the years. Read how it affected household names such as Nathan Outlaw, Mark Sargeant and Clare Clark MCA along with many others here.

Prizes

The three top-scoring Annual Awards of Excellence Winners will receive the following:
The accolade of Young Chef, Young Waiter, Young Pastry Chef of The Year
£2000 bursary thanks to the Savoy Educational Trust
The bursary from the Savoy Educational Trust 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 and Shanghai; Quebec and Los Angeles.
A Robert Welch Knife
Work experience at Pollen Street Social with thanks to Jason Atherton
Work experience at The Fat Duck with thanks to Heston Blumenthal
Invited to money can’t buy hospitality experiences and exclusive Royal Academy of Culinary Arts events and trips
A specially commissioned engraved Silver Trophy thanks to Gordon Hogg and Finclass
All Service Semi-Finalists and Finalists are invited to direct entry to the Gold Service Scholarship
The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef of The Year will gain automatic entry to the Final of Craft Guild of Chefs, National Young Chef of The Year

All Annual Awards of Excellence Achievers receive the following:
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Jeroboam
AAE Lapel Pin
Chefs Jacket courtesy of Continental Chef Supplies
Membership of the AAE Alumni

Pre-register

CLICK HERE to Pre-Register for the Annual Awards of Execllence so you don’t miss out

AAE Diary Dates

Launch AAE 2020

Monday 13th January

Application closing date

Monday 10th February

Quarter-Finals

  • Service Quarter-Final Scotland – Monday 24th February, Gleneagles
  • Service Quarter-Final London – Saturday 29th February, The Langham

Semi-Finals

  • Service Semi-Final Scotland – Monday 23rd March, Trump Turnberry
  • Service Semi-Final London – Saturday 28th March, The Ritz London
  • Kitchen & Pastry Semi-Final Regional – Wednesday 8th April, University of West London, Westminster Kingsway College, University College Birmingham

Finals

  • Service Final London – Monday 11th May, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
  • Kitchen & Pastry Final London – Wednesday 3rd June, University of West London

Gala Awards Dinner

  • Date to be confirmed, Claridge’s

Our sponsors

Our committee members consist of

AAE-Jason-Atherton

Jason Artherton

Honorary President

John-Williams-MBE

John Williams MBE

Chairman of the AAE

award-team-img2

Martyn Nail

Chairman of Kitchen

Hywel Jones

Chairman of Kitchen

AAE-Yolande-Stanley

Yolande Stanley MCA

Chairman of Pastry

Sarah Hartnett

Chairman of Pastry

Sergio Rebecchi

Chairman of Service

John Cousins

Chairman of Service

AAE Judging Committees

Our judging committee is made up of leading figures from the hospitality industry. Download PDF List