Gabriela in finals for Annual Awards of Excellence

April 2015

BA Hospitality and Events Management student Gabriela Murea has made it to the final for the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) 2015. 

The purpose of the award is to inspire and encourage young people to achieve the highest possible standards in their chosen profession – chefs, pastry chefs and service workers. Gabriela was put forward for the competition in the service category by her employer, Opus. 

As well as a competition, the AAE is an examination; it is possible for all candidates to achieve the award depending on their ability to attain the standard of excellence set by the judges, which includes celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal. All those that reach this standard will win the AAE. 

“Preparing for the semi-final was quite challenging,” said Gabriela, who completed part of her work placement at Opus and is now working there full-time. “I had to work hard, dedicating about two weeks to in-depth study of all the dishes and wines that Opus has on the menu as well as reading numerous service theory books. 

“On the day of the service semi-final I went to The Ritz in London and sat a written test of 75 questions. I was also interviewed on Opus’ menu, wine list and their pairings by a judging panel of high-profile industry professionals. 

“I’ve just heard from the AAE that I’ve made it to the Restaurant Service Final next month and I’m really excited and looking forward to the challenge.”

The final will be held at Le Gavroche, London, on Saturday 16th May and Gabriela will be required to serve a three-course menu to two guests, including the service of beverages and wine-tasting. 

Gabriela’s responsibilities as a waiter at Opus include running a restaurant station, running events for up to 70 people in the private dining rooms, meeting with wine suppliers in order to select the most suitable wines to go on the menu and train other staff members in basic wine knowledge and wine and food pairing.

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