Acorn Award

July 3, 2013

The Future is in Good Hand – Caterer & Hotelkeeper – May 1997

There is no doubting the delight and excitement among the 30 under-30s who have been selected as the industry’s high-flyers for 1997.

“It’s fantastic… I never dreamed it would happen… it makes me feel very important… it’s an esteemed award… the culmination of three years’ hard work” – those were just a few of the reactions.

“The prestige for the individual nominated and for the company they work for must not go unmentioned. Not only does the individual gain peer and industry recognition, which can assist them in climbing the career ladder, but an Acorn Award gives each winner the opportunity to give something back to the industry.”

What they say about the Acorns:

Robin Sheppard General manager Bath Spa Hotel

“This is an achievement that can stay with you for the rest of your life. It is the equivalent of winning a cup at Wembley. It creates aspirations within our business that encourage others to go on.”

Ramon Pajares Managing director Savoy Group

“The industry has a long way to go before it can be satisfied that it is doing enough to attract the calibre of people it needs, so anything we do to attract young people with commitment and passion is worth it.

“This particular award is significant because it is given to young people who have already demonstrated they have that and more. For our own young managers, it gives a target to aim for and creates goodwill and enthusiasm within the company.

Max Gnoyke (28) Executive head chef, Simply Heathcote’s, Manchester

Nominated by Paul Heathcote, Paul Heathcote Restaurants

According to Max Gnoyke’s boss, Paul Heathcote, it was the early training that Gnoyke received in restaurants such as the Connaught and Le Gavroche that taught him to be proud of his job – places where titles are earned, not given. “At the same time,” says Heathcote, “he realises some people have to have encouragement in larger amounts than others.”

Gnoyke learned his management skills by moving from being part of a team of eight at Heathcote’s to leading a brigade of 20 in his current job.

Within his first year at Heathcote’s Brasserie he achieved a red M from Michelin, and the restaurant was named Country Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide and Brasserie of the Year by Life Magazine.

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