Acorn Awards 2013 open for entries

01 February 2013 by
Acorn Awards 2013 open for entries

The winners of the 2013 Acorn Awards can look forward to a weekend of luxury at the award-winning Rockliffe Hall in County Durham. Janet Harmer describes how to nominate candidates and profiles some of the past winners

HR directors frequently highlight the huge value of the awards, saying that an Acorn winner generally indicates a person who is eager to work hard, move forward in their career and make a real impact on the wider hospitality industry. In essence, being named an Acorn winner is a mark of future potential and will help open prestigious doors.

A swift glance at the roll-call of past winners includes those who have gained recognition far beyond the industry, such as Gary Rhodes and Marco Pierre White, while others have gone on to establish themselves in some of the industry's top jobs. Zoe Jenkins, for instance, was a winner in 1990 when she was conference and banqueting manager at the Park Lane hotel, London, and is now general manager at what has been one of the most prestigious hotel openings in recent years, Coworth Park, near Ascot, Berkshire.

William Baxter, non-executive director at BaxterStorey, explains: "The Acorn Awards offer recipients the opportunity to be noticed and publically recognised for their outstanding achievements in their young careers to date. However perhaps more importantly, the Acorn winners are afforded a brilliant networking opportunity with individuals with whom they can share knowledge and industry best practice for the future."

The winners of the 2013 Acorn Awards will be in very distinguished company. Each year, the honours are bestowed on young people who are regarded as outstanding talents, have a commercial outlook, are creative in their respective sectors and are regarded as an inspiration to their peers. Entrants from all sections of hospitality - from pubs, bars and restaurants to hotels, food service and contract catering are welcome. All will be judged by a panel of industry experts in each given sector.

NOMINATIONS Nomination for the 2013 Acorn Awards should be completed online by visiting

The closing date for nominations is 10 March 2013, with judging taking place during the week of 
15 April.

For further information, contact Shiva Hobson, group events manager, on 020 7881 4826 or e-mail


!]( Bancroft Age 51 Year 1987 Then General manager, Northcote Manor, Langho, near Blackburn Now Managing director, Northcote Group (incorporating 14-bedroom Northcote hotel with one-Michelin-starred restaurant, Ribble Valley Inns with four pubs, and Northcote at the Rovers providing corporate catering at Blackburn Rovers FC) On winning an Acorn It meant the world to me. 
I clearly remember the presentation and sitting next to Marco Pierre White - it was fabulous. Here at Northcote we are very focused on training and awards and will always nominate a member of staff who we believe has the potential for greatness.
![]( CryerAge 55 Year 1987 Then Marketing manager, Copthorne Hotels Now Managing director and owner of Representation Plus and First Public Relations (marketing and PR companies specialising in the tourism, hospitality and leisure industries) On winning an Acorn It gave me the confidence to set up my own business.
![]( HulstoneAge 38 Year 1996 Then Chef saucier, Swallow Royal hotel, Bristol Now Chef-proprietor, the Elephant, Torquay On winning an Acorn The Acorn is an industry-wide award, across all sectors, which shows that you don't have to be the face of an establishment to be recognised by your peers. It means so much to see the industry's future stars receiving deserved recognition.
![]( GoodaleAge 41 Year 2000 Then Assistant F&B manager, Great Eastern hotel, London Now Director of restaurants and kitchens, Harrods, London On winning an Acorn I clearly remember how incredibly proud I felt to receive my Acorn award. It is a richly coveted prize and rightly so, when you look at its illustrious predecessors that have been identified as future talent over the years."
![]( BegbieAge 40 Year 2001 Then Training manager, 
Four Seasons hotel, London Now Director of HR, Four Seasons hotel Beirut On winning an Acorn The recognition was amazing - it was so nice that so many past colleagues got in touch when the Acorn article appeared in Caterer and Hotelkeeper. It felt like a very special achievement. I always like to 
read about the new winners and am always impressed by their achievements. But the 
Acorn Awards are also a great springboard 
to achieving many more great things in the future.
![]( ByrdAge 31 Year 2010 Then General manager, Cardiff Stadium, Compass Group Now Senior general manager, Cardiff City Stadium and Millennium Stadium, Compass Group On winning an Acorn Winning an Acorn Award shows that you have been recognised by your fellow professionals and peers in the industry and I was honoured to receive one. It gives you a great sense of pride and opens a number of networks outside of your specific industry sector."
![]( SmithAge 25 Year 2011 Then Premier sous chef, the Ritz hotel, London Now Premier sous chef, the Ritz hotel, 
London On winning an Acorn I was very flattered to receive an Acorn award with a list of alumni that is so incredible - the likes of Simon Hulstone, John Campbell and Michael Caines says it all. It also made me proud that people from the industry recognised my hard work and felt that I was worthy of the award.
![Ryan NeillAge 30 Year 2012 Then Executive chef, Cameron House on Loch Lomond Now Executive chef, Cameron House on Loch Lomond On winning an Acorn To be chosen by members of the industry for an Acorn was fantastic. It just shows that with drive, determination and ambition, anything is possible. The weekend of the awards is great and you get to meet so many amazing people from all areas in our industry. I still speak to my fellow winners - the network of contacts is brilliant.

ROCKLIFFE HALL - The 2013 venue

Rockliffe Hall is one of the UK's leading five-star resort hotels and this year will provide a magnificient backdrop to the 2013 Acorn Awards weekend, from 9 to 10 June.

Situated within a 375-acre estate on the banks of the River Tees, near the village of Hurworth, County Durham, the 61-bedroom hotel offers a golf course, luxury spa with a 20m pool and 13 treatment rooms, and three restaurants.

The hotel's flagship restaurant, Kenny Atkinson at the Orangery (three AA rosettes) is currently undergoing a £200,000 revamp and expansion - involving new artwork, decor, furniture and a walk-in cellar - which will be ready in time for the arrival of the Acorn winners.

Rockliffe Hall, which is housed within a restored 18th century property, was the winner of the Large Hotel of the Year 2012 at the VisitEngland Awards.

The Acorn weekend will see the 30 Acorn winners taking part in a series of team-building events organised by activity company Team Spirit.


At ACT Clean, we know that our business and its success begins and ends with the quality, commitment and aspirations of our team and the job that they do. Creating great experiences and partnerships, demonstrating excellence and making impressions is all about people.

The Acorn Awards have long recognised, rewarded and celebrated these attributes and the exceptional talent within our fantastic and dynamic industry that enhances its reputation. That's why at ACT Clean we're proud and delighted to continue our support of the 
Acorn Awards.

We see our support as playing a very small role in supporting a vital scheme in an industry we can all be proud to belong to; recognising its future leaders and giving them a platform from which to shine still further.
John Stevenson, founder and director, 
ACT Clean

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