Andras Lakezi, food and drink manager at the Kimpton Fitzroy London has been awarded the Réunion des Gastronomes President’s Award 2018.
Judges said the competition was “extremely close, but a unanimous choice” calling Lakezi “a role model in all that he delivers”. Lakezi’s trophy was presented to him by guest of honour Cyrus Todiwala OBE, DL, alongside the Reunion’s president Wallace Vincent at an awards ceremony during the organisation’s 100th Annual Banquet last Friday (16 November).
The ceremony was held at London’s Drapers’ Hall and attended by 200 senior figures in the hospitality industry. As part of his prize, Lakezi receives invitations to attend five Gastronome events, along with extensive mentoring and networking opportunities, plus membership of the Reunion for two years.
Alison Frith, vice president of the Reunion and one of the judges, said: “Each finalist impressed us with their knowledge, experience, skills and vision. It was particularly noted how each candidate wished to give something back to the hospitality sector in their future careers.
“Although extremely close, the winner was a unanimous choice and stood out for his objective and progressive answers to the questions asked, as well as his continual reflection on how he could help his team and optimise the opportunity to develop further, should he win.”
Chairman of the judging panel, John Cousins, added: “Once again we have been seriously impressed by the passion for our industry that all our finalists displayed. Because of this, our other two finalists are also being offered opportunities for professional mentoring.”