With voting closing imminently, on the 12th October, the focus of attention now turns to the two aspiration industry awards, Best Young Talent Back of House, sponsored by Nottingham College and Best Young Talent Front of House, Sponsored by Go Dine.

These awards help to encourage, recognise and reward 18-23 year olds and to secure their talents in the hospitality industry locally, making it a win-win for all.

Following the deadline for applications for the BYT Back of House Award, each entrant is paper judged on their ability to deliver a two-course meal using seasonal ingredients and to budget.

They must also demonstrate why they have selected the two dishes and why. They believe, those dishes would sit well on the menu at their own venue. A final four will then be chosen to go head to head to produce an overall winner.

The cook-off takes place at Nottingham College’s Adams Restaurant on Monday 12th November under the watchful eye of sponsors, Nottingham College and Owen Taylor & Sons, and respected, seasoned professionals.

At the cook-off, the finalists will flex their skills and showcase their talents as they cook the dishes they previously submitted on their applications.

Phil Tomlinson, Faculty Area Manager for Catering & Hospitality comments “Involving our Catering & Hospitality team with the Best Young Talent, Back of House Award has not only given us an incredible opportunity to sample the work of some of the best young chefs in the area but has also allowed us to feedback, allowing us to enhance their development. It’s always exciting to see how these young people progress and mature.”

For BYT Front of House, the paper entries are assessed by industry professionals and a panel of their peers with a final four being invited to go head to head at an industry lunch to be held, once again, at Nottingham College’s Adams Restaurant on Wednesday 21st November.

Each finalist will be allotted a number of diners and tables and asked to serve their customers a three course lunch. Assessed from start to finish on not only how they handle their customers, but how they communicate with the kitchen, presentation, personality and seating to leaving, it’s all under the microscope.

Last year’s winner, Daiva Step, Restaurant Manager at the award-winning La Rock Restaurant in Sandiacre, joins the judging panel this year and had this to say “Things have started to change and we are now entering an age where people are starting to understand that restaurants need to be about an experience rather than just being about food and chefs. Restaurants have to offer the whole package and front of house is an essential part of this.

Quality of service can make or break a hospitality business and therefore it’s important to show appreciation to front of house employees and showcase hospitality as a viable career choice.”

The winners of both awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at Colwick Hall Hotel on the 31st January 2019 hosted by television personality, Mark Durden-Smith.