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AA College Restaurant of the Year 2023 shortlist unveiled

22 Jun 2023
People 1st International

Three colleges have been shortlisted in the AA College Restaurant of the Year 2023, sponsored by People 1st International, following a day-long competition held at The Sea Containers Hotel on 20 June.

The three shortlisted finalists are:

  • @34 Restaurant, Exeter College
  • Senara Restaurant, Truro & Penwith College
  • The Classroom, Cardiff & Vale College

College teams attending the judging day took part in an activity to design an event to celebrate one of three significant 2023 events: the 50th Anniversary of the first Concorde pan Atlantic flight; the 75th Anniversary of the founding of the NHS or the 100th anniversary of Disney Brothers Studios. Participants were asked to present:

  • The 4-course menu they would serve to the guests
  • A signature cocktail and mocktail to be served on arrival of guests
  • How they would theme their restaurant for the event
  • What entertainment they would provide during event
  • How they would market the event

Teams were interviewed by a judging panel of industry experts who were extremely impressed with the overall quality of the presentations, with some great ideas and outside the box thinking around the events:

“I am always inspired by the passion and commitment the students have for the hospitality industry, their tutors are doing a great job and should be rightly proud that they are developing great leaders for the future.” – Sean Wheeler, People & Culture Consultant and Chair of the People 1st International Accreditation Panel

“Great to observe such creativity, passion and confidence from all the students in presenting this year’s final.” – Simon Numphud – Managing Director, AA Media

“It was fantastic to see the level of creativity and attention to detail that the competitors put in, the future of the hospitality industry is certainly bright with these students.” – Joseph Cordy, Head of Commercial, Paddy & Scott’s

“Year on year, the standard of entries continues to rise. This year’s student presentations were exceptional. Thoroughly thought out with fantastic content and ideas. One even went with a glitter bang! The student’s levels of confidence and execution were impressive.” – Duncan Swanson, Former Vice President – People, Yotel

“It was incredible to see such passion and enthusiasm for our industry from the students during their presentations. It gives me great confidence for the future of hospitality.” – Dale Shaw, Hotel Manager, Wyboston Lakes Resort

As well as a behind-the-scenes tour of The Sea Containers Hotel, participants were also treated to an inspirational talk by guest speaker Andre Garret, Executive Chef at Corinthia London.

Andy Doyle, Partnerships Manager at People 1st International said: “The competition is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the colleges that are leading the way in training future talent and cultivating their passion for the industry. Congratulations to the finalists and well done to all that took part.”

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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