The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is now accepting entries for the Annual Awards of Excellence 2019. Applicants must currently be working full-time in the UK as a chef,pastry chef or waiter and should be aged between 20 and 26 at the close of entries on 4th February 2019.

The AAE is an examination rather than a competition; 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 highest marks in each section will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year 2019.


Selection is based on written entries and recipes for Kitchen entrants. Successful candidates will go forward to regional quarter-finals in February and Semi-finals March/April and finals in May/June 2019 where they will be tested on a wide range of skills.


  • All finalists will be presented with a certificate and bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne at the national finals in May/June.
  • All winners will be invited to a gala presentation dinner in July 2019 where they will receive a chefs jacket or lapel pin, a diploma recognising their achievement and a magnum of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
  • All winners of the AAE become Alumni of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.
  • The highest scoring winner in each section (Kitchen, Pastry and Service) will be announced at the Gala Presentation Dinner where they will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef, Young Pastry Chef and Young Waiter of the Year 2019. Each will each receive prizes worth over £2000, including, cookware thanks to Continental Chef Supplies, a specially commissioned engraved Silver trophy, work experience at The Fat Duck and a bursary from the Savoy Educational Trust which will take the form of an educational trip. Past trips include visits to New Orleans, Dubai, Mexico, Champagne, Tuscany, Barbados, St Lucia, Los Angeles, Hong Kong & Shanghai, and Quebec.

Quarter final dates

Service Quarter-Final London – Saturday 23rd February, The Langham

Service Quarter-Final Scotland – Monday 26th February, Gleneagles

Semi-final dates

Service Semi-Final London – Monday 18th March, Trump Turnberry

Service Semi-Final Scotland – Saturday 23rd March, The Ritz London

Kitchen & Pastry Semi-Final Regional: Wednesday 17th April, University of West London, Westminster Kingsway College, University College Birmingham

Final dates

Service Final London – Monday 13th May, Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester

Kitchen & Pastry Final London – Wednesday 6th June, University of West London

Enter via the website