The Trustees of the Gold Service Scholarship are delighted to announce that the 2019 Scholar is Karen Gruet from Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire.
The announcement was made at a glamorous reception at Claridge’s Hotel on Monday, 4 February 2019, attended by 250 influential members of the hospitality industry. This follows the Final assessment lunch which was held at Corinthia Hotel London in January.
Karen Gruet is Assistant Restaurant Manager at the Michelin two-starred restaurant at Le Manoir. French-born, she started her work career in the UK in 2013 at Le Manoir as a Commis de Rang, then moved to Restaurant Sat Bains (also Michelin two-starred) in 2014 as a Chef de Rang. Karen then returned to Le Manoir in late 2014 where she has progressed through the front-of-house ranks of the restaurant. Commenting on her role at the hotel, she enjoys anticipating and exceeding guests’ expectations, and is “extremely driven with a passion for knowledge and developing her skills.”
Chairman of the Judges Edward Griffiths enthused about the high calibre of candidates for the 2019 Scholarship programme, stating: “Not only did we have a challenging time whittling down the initial 100 applicants at the early stages of the competition, but choosing the Scholar from the group of eight winning Finalists was a difficult task. Each year, the quality of candidates improves in terms of ability, experience, enthusiasm and social skills.” Speaking on behalf of the Trustees and Judges, he added: “We are thrilled that Karen is our absolute winning Scholar, having shone throughout the programme. A wealth of educational and networking opportunities await her. The Trustees and Sponsors give our warmest congratulations to all of our Finalists and the new Scholar.”
Special commendations have also been noted for two of the Finalists – James Dainton, of The Northall at Corinthia Hotel London, for showing the most potential, and Tiziano de Mattia, of Hide Restaurant in London, who presented the most consistent performance.