2014 Scholar – James Fleming
Following a nationwide search to the best young front-of-house operator in the hospitality industry, James Fleming has been crowned the winner of the Gold Service Scholarship 2014.
Formerly of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, James – 24 at the time of winning – went on to take a Service role at The Berkeley Hotel, and now resides as the Reception Manager at The Stafford London where he has been since August 2017. Fleming said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be the scholar for 2014 and to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Rebecca Dibben. I’m excited to embark on the many fantastic placements afforded by the scholarship and to work alongside industry greats, who I never thought I would meet, let alone work with. I hope that the scholarship inspires others to pursue a career in such a dynamic and rewarding industry.”
“We have a talented industry full of creativity and passion, which we celebrate through the scholarship. It’s gifted individuals like James and our other entrants who help to create memorable dining-out experiences and they are the future rising stars of Britain’s restaurants.”
Alastair Storey, Chairman of the Trustees
He said that the strength of the entry cohort meant the judges had enlarged the national final to allow in seven people rather than six. And as well as naming a winner, they decided to celebrate two of the finalists: Devid Isabella of the Ritz was highly commended, while Adam Hersey of Brocket Hall Gold Club was cited as the finalist ‘with the greatest potential’.
Throughout his Scholarship year James went on to take placements at both Royal Household, working at a state banquet, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Europe, he also visit Champagne to enhance his skills in all aspects of front of house service and customer experience. As an ambassador for the scholarship, he acted as a leading example of a successful career in front of house hospitality and worked to remind people of the importance of great service.
“I’m delighted that James was chosen as the Scholar for 2014. His passion and enthusiasm is exactly what this industry is all about and his ability to provide an impeccable, seamless service is second to none. This competition is all about giving young people the opportunity to learn among some of the best in the business to ensure that ultimately, front of house professionals continue to raise the bar in hospitality and the customer service experience.”
Willy Bauer, Founder of the Gold Service Scholarship
The seven finalists were :
Ashley Best, Quality Chop House
Julien Gardin, The Fat Duck
Adam Hersey, Brockett Hall Golf Club
Devid Isabella, The Ritz, London
Joana Maria Pons Gari, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles
George Oates, Buckingham Palace
Daniele Quattromini, Lusso Catering, London