The Acorn Scholarship, is an independent award created by previous winners of The Caterer’s Acorn Awards.
It’s now in its 14th year, and anunually presents a young manager, chef, HR manager, sommelier, or any young high-achiever involved in hospitality with the opportunity to make a name for themselves by presenting their skills and ambitions to some of the most respected names in the industry.
There is an annual prize worth more than £5,000 and the winner will become part of a prestigious Acorn Scholarship alumni. Past winners include Simon Houston, now sales director of Bartlett Mitchell, award-winning chocolatier and patissier Will Torrent and Daniel McLoughlin, opening project manager of Shoda Café & Restaurant.
The judging panel selected to interview the successful finalists face-to-face at this year’s final includes William Baxter, chairman of Hospitality Action; Sean Wheeler, director of people development – Starwood Capital – City Hotel Division; Laura Wigley, global director of learning and talent, Dorchester Collection; Moira Laird, human resources director, Valor Hospitality Partners; Ruston Toms, founding trustee of The PM Trust and director of Blue Apple Contract Catering, Hannah Horler, managing director of Cartwheel Recruitment; current Acorn Scholarship winner Charlotte Horler, currently operations manager at Billesley Manor Hotel, Worcester and Jo Harley, managing director of PurpleCubed.
Harley commented: “As a people and talent specialist, I take on the role of coach for our winning scholar each year and the judges and I will be looking for a determinedly ambitious individual, and a leader of tomorrow with drive and passion for our diverse, fast-moving and exciting industry.”
Applicants are asked to complete an online entry form and the shortlisted finalists will be asked to present the submission to the panel of judges on the 21 November at Coworth Park, Ascot. The winner of the 2017 Acorn Scholarship will be announced on the same day at a dinner at the luxury country house hotel.
People engagement specialist PurpleCubed has supported The Acorn Scholarship since its inception. Each scholar attends quarterly coaching and development sessions with the company to support their future growth.