Our scholars

Acorn Scholarship-lee bye2017 Scholar
Lee Bye
chef patron
Tuddenham Mill

Since winning the 2017 Acorn Scholarship at the end of 2016, my role at Tuddenham Mill has changed dramatically.

I have stepped up from the position of head chef of the 20-bedroom boutique hotel and now oversee all operations of the business, including managing the hotel, events and restaurant teams, as well as continuing to be involved in the food offer and menu development.


2016 Scholar
Charlotte Horler
Operations Manager, Hotel Collection Billesley Manor hotel


When I won the Acorn Scholarship in November 2015, I knew it was going to open doors for me and heighten my exposure as well as my career within the hospitality industry but who would have thought there were so many doors waiting to be opened? From trips abroad to networking events, mentoring to the Cateys.  The past six months have been absolutely life changing!

After presenting to 10 of the industry’s most successful business people at Westminster Kingsway College, London, back in November 2015, I was delighted to be announced as the Acorn Scholar for 2016.

During my scholarship year I visited the Villeroy & Boch headquarters in Luxembourg with Nick Green and the young chefs of the year.  I attended the Catey’s and many networking events around hospitality and employee engagement.  I even attended Hospitality Action’s Big Quiz of the Year!

The highlight for me was having two mentors: Sean Wheeler and Jo Harley (see mentor’s page) – their support and guidance was invaluable. Jo really pushed me into connecting with people and assessing my personal management style to make the most of my skills.

Sean welcomed me into his professional life with shadowing days which focused on operations as well as people development in a luxury market.

I also secured a new role as front of house manager, Montague on the Gardens, (Red Carnation Hotels) – a role I probably wouldn’t have considered for myself prior to being awarded the Scholarship and having my mentors’ support and motivation throughout the year.

If anybody is weighing up entering the Acorn Scholarship this year – Just Do It! It will enhance your career more than you can ever imagine. You don’t need all the answers or years of experience – you need passion, dedication and motivation.  The rest will just follow! Good Luck!

daniel-loughlin-tile-150x1502015 Scholar
Daniel McLoughlin
Opening project manager of Shoda Café & Restaurant


Daniel demonstrated a real passion to better himself through the guidance and development of the Acorn Scholarship. He returned in 2014 to face the Scholarship judges and his enthusiasm and determination was very apparent to us all. It was clear that here was an individual that needed help to realise his full potential and we knew that we could provide him with some really beneficial introductions and experiences in to the world of casual dining and business management. “A very talented individual – in fact one day he’ll work for me” – James Horler

sam-roth-tile-150x1502014 Scholar
Sam Roth
Project Manager at BaxterStorey




lewis-gallagher-150x1502013 Scholar
Lewis Gallagher
Provenance Food Hall and Restaurant



simon-houston-150x1502012 Scholar
Simon Houston FIH
Sales Director, Bartlett Mitchell




joel-fagg-150x1502011 Scholar
Joel Fagg
Assistant Director (Operations) at University of Derby



will-torrent-150x1502010 Scholar
Will Torrent
Consultant chef, Waitrose and author of Patisserie at home



simone-sylvestre-150x1502009 Scholar
Simone Sylvestre
Co Owner at Berlin Costelaria



rob-hartwell-150x1502008 Scholar
Rob Hartwell
Head Chef, The Almanack




julie-lardie-150x1502007 Scholar
Julie Lardie
Nutrition & External Affairs Manager at Cereal Partners UK




Kelly Widley2006 Scholar
Kelly Widley
General Manager, Pier Point Restaurant and Bar




naime2005 Scholar
Naime Torgut (left in picture)
Director of Events and Travel at The Aspiration Group



jon_reed-150x1502004 Scholar
Jon Reed
Operations Director, Purple Cubed



john-price-150x1502003 and inaugural Scholar
John Price
Ginger Village Pubs

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