Restaurant Manager of the Year: Tomas Kubart
Tomas Kubart from Kerridge’s Bar and Grill in London has been named 2019 Restaurant Manager of the Year.
Accepting the award, Kubart said: “I can’t believe I’ve won. The competition was incredibly tough. I’ve got to know the other finalists and they’re incredibly passionate and fantastic at what they do.”
Jennifer Santner from Angler restaurant at the South Place hotel in London was named runner-up for the second year running after competing in a live final in front of an audience of more than 100.
Pauline Henry from Brasserie Joël at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge and Vincenzo Mancinelli from Hide Above, both in London, completed the four finalists, who were whittled down from ten semi finalists on the day.
Chair of the judges John Cousins, director of the Food & Beverage Training Company, praised the quality of the four finalists.
“It was extremely tight. The industry is so lucky to have these people. The future of hospitality is safe in their hands. Tomas won because he was highly professional and technically great. You want to be served by him and you want to work for him because you know you’ll be looked after.”
For the accolade, ten semi-finalists were interviewed by industry professionals, while the four finalists acted out restaurant management skills scenarios in front of the VIP audience.
Kubart wins the opportunity to study at the École Hôtelière de Lausanne summer school in Switzerland, a meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant, a year’s membership of the Institute of Hospitality and invitations to key industry events. All four finalists are given the opportunity to be mentored throughout the year by leading industry figures.
The ten semi-finalists were:
- Jennifer Santner, Angler restaurant, South Place hotel, London
- Christopher Bakowski, Alyn Williams at the Westbury, London
- Shashi Prakash, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Windermere, Cumbria
- Vincenzo Mancinelli, Hide Above, London
- Tomas Kubart, Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Corinthia Hotel London
- Rebecca Galland, the Vineyard Hotel and Spa, Newbury, Berkshire
- Jacopo Nardini, Indigo restaurant, One Aldwych, London
- Simon Warren, the Ivy Temple Row, Birmingham
- Cedric Touny, the Blue Posts, London
- Pauline Henry, Brasserie Joël, Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London
The judges were:
- John Cousins, director of the Food & Beverage Training Company
- Roy Sommer, chairman of The Food & Beverage Manager Association
- Alper Zan, operations manager and hospitality consultant (UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2014)
- Johanna Wimmer, training and development manager, The Ivy Collection
- Rory Kelly-Naughton, hotel recruitment manager, Evolve Hospitality
- Ian Sturrock, restaurant manager, The Arts Club (UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2015)
- Stephane Davaine
- Chantelle Nicholson, group operations director, Marcus Wareing Restaurants
- Matthew Mawtus, restaurant manager, 85 Piccadilly (UK Restaurant Manager of the Year 2016)
- Romain Pottier, director of restaurants, Rhubarb
- Ludovic Solmi, restaurant manager, Skylon
- Kieran McLoughlin, general manager, Hide Ground (Restaurant Manager of the Year 2018)
The 2019 UK Restaurant Manager of the Year event was generously supported by the following organisations: JING Tea, The Savoy, Planday, Meiko, Tchibo Coffee Service, Lightspeed EPOS, Critiquie, aslotel, Prosecco DOC Consortium
Source: Institute of Hospitality