The Gold Service Scholarship alumni
In 2018, we launched ‘Team Gold’ to help facilitate this. ‘Team Gold’ is made up of winning finalists from every year of the competition since its inception.
It consists of two distinct forms of activity. One is an ecomms platform which consists of our news bulletin and our social media activity. The aim here is to share information and developments from our Team Gold members. The second is a series of unique events where the objective is for our alumni to learn and gain advice which will help them in their careers, whilst having the opportunity to network with other front of house talent. We wanted to further support our growing alumni of finalists throughout their careers, and to keep in touch with everybody as they move on and develop.
Team Gold events are usually hosted in a leading UK hospitality hotel, restaurant or foodservice establishment, and usually attract speakers who offer invaluable and exclusive insight and advice.
The inaugural Team Gold event was hosted by the Goring Hotel in March 2018; the Scholarship Alumni were joined by industry legend Cav. Diego Masciaga who gave a relaxed and informative Q&A session with Trustee Sara Jayne Stanes. The second event took place in late November 2018 at Browns Hotel, during which acclaimed Hotelier Sir Rocco Forte joined Sara and the rest of the Alumni. Robin Hutson hosted Team Gold at The Pig in May 2019, the team enjoyed a tour of the incredible grounds and vegetable gardens before an insightful talk from Robin. Many thanks to The Goring, Diego, Browns, Sir Rocco, Robin and The Pig for their continued support.
On Thursday 7 April 2022, Camellia and Vine hosted a wine training and development session for some of our Team Gold alumni, quarter and semi-finalists at the Savoy. A month later, on Tuesday 10 May, 2022 Scholar Thomas Gammella met with our trustees to discuss his development programme for his winning year over a lunch hosted by Coutts Bank, looked after by Peter Fiori and his incredibly talented kitchen and service teams.
Not long after, between 17-19 May, the 2020 scholar Elizabeth Forkuoh and the winning finalists were finally able to travel for a study trip to Porto. They were given a tour of the cellars at Graham’s Lodge, an overview of production and a tasting of some of Symington Family Estates’ finest ports.
Between 4 and 12 June 2022, our 2020 Scholar Elizabeth Forkuoh and 2022 Scholar Thomas Gammella travelled to Bangkok to spend 10 days at the Mandarin Oriental hotel where they were exposed to every department at the luxury hotel, from the reception and spa to housekeeping, HR and events. They also worked a dinner service at the two-Michelin-starred Le Normandie by Alain Roux restaurant.
During the summer, we arranged two wine trips – on 28 June, scholars Elizabeth and Thomas made an overnight trip to visit Champagne Laurent-Perrier in France, while the 2020 and 2022 winning finalists visited Gusbourne winery in Kent on 30 August.
And between 25-29 September 2022, our 2020 and 2022 scholars and winning finalists travelled to the École hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland for a bespoke management course to support their professional development. This was generously funded by donations from the Lord Forte Foundation, Lord Allen, and David Levin.
In May 2023, the 2022 winning finalists and Scholar Thomas Gammella, along with trustees Edward Griffiths, Sergio Rebecchi and Silvano Giraldin, jetted off to Symington Family Estates in Portugal’s Douro Valley to learn about Graham’s Port. Anthony Symington himself welcomed the arrivals, taking them through port tastings and the history of the estate. The team got to sample incredible white, red, and rose wines from the Symington Estates, as well as the delicious Blend no5 white port. Team Gold also enjoyed tours of Quinta dos Malvedos and Quinta do Bomfim, a boat trip on the Douro River, and learned more about how port is produced and the role it plays in today’s hospitality sector.