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People 1st and AA open entries for 2017 College Restaurant of the Year Award

24 January 2017

People 1st and the AA have opened entries for the second annual AA College Restaurant of the Year award, which recognises the hard work of chef lecturers and student brigades that run college restaurants.

The People 1st-sponsored award is open to colleges that have received People 1st accreditation - a stamp of approval that recognises colleges and providers that deliver excellent full-time or classroom-based hospitality training and qualifications - and that also hold an AA College Rosette for their restaurant.

The award builds on the AA College Rosette Scheme, which was developed by People 1st and AA Hotel Services in 2013 to recognise college restaurants for the quality of food they produce and the level of service they deliver.

Accredited colleges are invited to visit www.aahospitalityawards.com and submit an application to be considered for the 2017 AA College Restaurant of the Year award. There is still time for colleges to become accredited before the competition deadline – to find out more, visit www.people1st.co.uk/hospitality-accreditation

With demand for chefs reaching crisis levels – 11,000 more chefs are needed in the next eight years alone – the awards help shine a light on the colleges that are leading the way in training future talent.

Martine Pullen, director of membership and consulting at People 1st, commented: “In light of the current chef shortage, the role that college restaurants play in preparing our future staff for the world of work is even more vital than it’s always been. Our accredited colleges are the best of the best, and this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work they do. We were overwhelmed with the response to last year’s inaugural award and can’t wait to see what they surprise us with this year!”

Garry Baldwin, senior hotel and restaurant inspector, AA Hotel Services, said: “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with People 1st through our second annual AA College Restaurant of the Year award. Together, our accreditation schemes help employers find the very best colleges from which to source future talent, and encourage industry and education to work together to make sure young people can build long and prosperous careers in hospitality. This is a great opportunity for them to practice and showcase their skills – the very best of luck to all involved!”

Jennifer Cruickshanks, head of hospitality, tourism and foundation skills at Runshaw College – winner of the 2016 AA College Restaurant of the Year award for its Foxholes Restaurant – commented: “The whole awards process was a brilliant experience for our students and staff – from the judging day, which included a talk from a five AA Rosette-awarded, Michelin-starred chef, to the awards evening itself and the fantastic publicity we’ve received on the back of our win. It’s been a source of immense pride for us all and has really helped to demonstrate how our hospitality department offers an excellent career option to school leavers. I definitely encourage other colleges to enter!”

Entries close on 28 April 2017 and shortlisted finalists will be invited to attend a judging day in London. The winner of the 2017 AA College Restaurant of the Year award will be announced at The AA Hospitality Awards on 25 September 2017.

Find out more about People 1st hospitality accreditation Enter on the AA awards website