RACA Annual Awards of Excellence

RACA Annual Awards of Excellence


The AAE is the most prestigious award available to young people in the hospitality industry today, recognising and encouraging the most talented up and coming Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Waiters.  It is the only award to cover all three categories of Kitchen, Pastry and Service.  Since it began in 1983 over 480 young people have achieved the award, setting them off on highly successful career paths.


The purpose of the Awards is to inspire and encourage young people to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession – Kitchen, Pastry or Service – and to offer them clear guidelines for success in their career.  To participate in the awards is a great learning experience.  Good basic skills are the essential cement with which young, ambitious members of the catering industry can build a rewarding career, while more taxing tasks help to identify the best cooks and waiters of today, who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

As well as a competition, the AAE is an examination; all or none of the candidates can achieve the award depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges.  All those who successfully reach this standard will win the AAE.  In addition the winning candidate who scores the most marks in each section is named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year.

Who can enter?

The awards are open to young people aged between 20 and 26, who are currently working full-time, in the UK, as Chefs, Pastry Chefs or Waiters.  Selection is based on written essays and (for chefs) a recipe and the awards test a variety of skills within each discipline:

What will I be tested on?

Chefs can be tested on a variety of food preparation and cookery tasks from making a salad to butchery skills and must demonstrate that they can prepare a variety of dishes including soups and dessert and a piece of their own free interpretation.

Pastry Chefs will be expected to demonstrate the ability to work with many different kinds of materials including detailed chocolate and sugar work and a creative presentation piece, whilst having an excellent grounding in baking and plated desserts.

Waiters are tested on their knowledge and skills in a wide range of food and beverage service aspects including product knowledge, technical service skills, interpersonal skills and teamwork.

Format of the awards and how to enter

The Annual Awards of Excellence is launched in January each year.  The first round is a paper entry which will be judged in February, with successful applicants going on to compete in Semi-Finals at the beginning of April.  The Finals will be held in June.  You can keep up to date with the current awards through the News section of this website and the Academy facebook and twitter pages.

More information

For entry forms or more information visit www.royalacademyofculinaryarts.org.uk

The Annual Awards of Excellence 2014 is now closed for entries – visit www.royalacademyofculinaryarts.org.uk to find out more.