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Shortlist unveiled for People 1st-sponsored AA College Restaurant of the Year Award 2017

3 July 2017

The shortlist for this year’s AA College Restaurant of the Year Award, sponsored by People 1st, has been announced, following a judging day held at the Park Plaza London Riverbank on Wednesday 28 June.

The three shortlisted finalists are:

Now in its second year, the AA College Restaurant of the Year Award is open to colleges that have been accredited by People 1st and achieved an AA College Rosette. 14 college teams were invited to join the judging day, where they took part in a series of activities, including designing a new business venture for 4 AA Rosette and two Michelin-starred chef, Tom Kerridge.

Teams were interviewed by a judging panel that included Rob Flinter, general manager at Park Plaza London Riverbank; Sean Wheeler, director of people development at Principal Hotels and Julian Tomlin, general manager and group director of operations for Exclusive Hotels and Venues. They were also asked to produce a three-minute video to promote the hospitality courses at their college.

Participants were also treated to an inspirational talk by Tom Kerridge and the opportunity to ask him their own questions, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the Park Plaza London Riverbank from Rob Flinter and his team.

Martine Pullen, director of consulting at People 1st said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the AA for a second year on this award – it’s an incredible opportunity for our accredited colleges and another chance to gain recognition for the important work they do in their college restaurants.

“We never fail to be impressed by the fantastic talent that our accredited colleges produce and every single team did themselves proud. Congratulations to all that took part, and especially to the shortlisted teams from Fareham, Milton Keynes and South Cheshire.”

Garry Baldwin, senior hotel and restaurant inspector with the AA said: “We were once again blown away by the quality of the entries from the student and lecturer teams, and the energy and enthusiasm in the room was clear for all to see.

“It certainly wasn’t an easy decision for the judges, and just goes to show the brilliant work that the People 1st-accredited colleges are doing to give our future hospitality professionals the skills they need to help the industry flourish. Congratulations to all involved!”

Sean Wheeler, chair of the People 1st accreditation panel and director of people development at Principal Hotels, added: “Judging the awards has been a great experience – it’s fantastic to see the passion that the students have for our industry and it just reiterates why it’s important for employers forge links with accredited colleges.

“We need to make sure that we continue to support the next generation of talent, and these colleges are producing our stars of the future – the food and service they provide is exceptional. Best of luck to the three finalists!”

The winner of the AA College Restaurant of the Year award will be announced at the annual AA Hospitality Awards dinner on 25 September at Grosvenor House, London.

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