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Celebrating Exceptional Talent! And the winners are… 

3rd place culinary – James Cousins, Freshfields

3rd place FOH – Magdalena Kozak, Morgan Stanley

2nd place culinary – Luke Hastings, Deloitte

2nd place FOH – Caroline Carter

1st place culinary – Mark Armstrong, KPMG Number Twenty

1st place FOH – Nicolas Arouete, BNP Paribas

Restaurant Associates, hosted our annual Hospitality and Culinary Skills competition, a celebration of the exceptional chef and front-of-house talent across the business now in its 15th year.

Restaurant Associates, hosted our annual Hospitality and Culinary Skills competition, a celebration of the exceptional chef and front-of-house talent across the business now in its 15th year.

A panel of hospitality leaders including Silvano Giraldin, Albert Roux OBE, Michel Roux Jnr, Paul Hood, Michael West, Steve Groves and our Culinary Director Jeremy Ford judged the Skills Competition at The University of West London on the 27th September.

Altogether, 16 finalists including chefs and front of house, were challenged on food combinations and customer service. Each chef had been paired up with a front-of-house competitor to work as a team. The panel critiqued competitors on the cooking and serving of a three-course meal for 32 guests comprising of Restaurant Associates’ clients from companies across the city.

The evening began with a champagne pouring challenge, which saw the finalists having to pour one bottle into eight glasses with equal measure.

They then served the champagne with canapés prepared by the chef finalists. Chefs and waiters then worked in pairs to serve a three-course set menu comprising of core British ingredients including Scallops for the starter, British Lamb for main and a dessert to involve apples and blackberries.

Following deliberation, Mark Armstrong (KPMG) was named the chef winner for 2017 and Nicolas Arouete (BNP Paribas) won the front-of-house award.