Gleneagles' Elizabeth Forkuoh has been announced as the winner of the 2020 Gold Service Scholarship.
Forkuoh, whose role is junior assistant manager at the Strathearn restaurant at Gleneagles hotel, was named the winner at a glittering ceremony at the Berkeley in London this evening.
Forkuoh's started working in hospitality at Stradey Park hotel in Llanelli, where she was a part-time waitress while a student. She then joined Gleneagles in Auchterarder, Perthshire, in 2017 as a chef de rang in the Strathearn restaurant, progressing to head waitress in 2018, and then to her current role last year.
As the new Scholar, she will enjoy a range of prizes, including work placements overseas and in the UK, as well as a stage at either Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle for a state visit, and a tailored educational course on hotel and restaurant management at the Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland.
A special commendation was also made for Lauren Frid, assistant supervisor at Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental London, with the judges noting her consistent performance throughout the competition.
Chairman of the judges, Edward Griffiths, said: "All eight winning finalists deserve their place, and judging at this level is so difficult when the quality is so high. Elizabeth shone through with very rounded characteristics, and impeccable social skills. She has earned her crown as a talented Scholar, and Lauren Frid equally deserves her commendation."
Alastair Storey, chairman of the Gold Service Scholarship, added: "The talent pool of candidates gets better and better each year. And the 2020 group of applicants has truly impressed the trustees and judges with their professionalism. Not only are their service skills totally on point, but they have a remarkable enthusiasm for the industry. Each one of them has become a proud ambassador for choosing hospitality as a great career option."