Young pastry chefs from Harrods and Asian patisserie specialist Yauatcha are among those to be shortlisted for the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) annual Awards of Excellence 2018.

Eight pastry chefs have qualified to go forward to the final on Tuesday 19 June, at University College Birmingham.

Here they will be tested on their ability to demonstrate working with different kinds of material, including detailed chocolate and sugar work, produce a creative presentation piece and show an excellent grounding in baking and plated desserts.

Notably, the Award is an examination, not a competition, meaning all or none of the candidates could achieve it depending on their ability to attain the standard set by the judges. And the candidate who scores the most marks will be named the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Pastry Chef 2018.

The full list of pastry finalists comprises:

  • Julia Anderson, Pennyhill Park Hotel
  • Sophie Bamford, 21, Newcastle
  • Nicholas Bentley, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons
  • Bastien Carriou, Harrods
  • Salome Chapier, Yauatcha, Soho
  • Richard Alexander Ellis, Yauatcha, Soho
  • Nikola Krikavova, Hakkasan, Hanway Place
  • Erika Mol, Coworth Park

RACA described the Awards of Excellence as the “most prestigious award available to young professionals in the hospitality industry today”. Since it began in 1983, more than 550 young professionals have achieved the award.

A number of kitchen and service finalists have also been shortlisted, with their final exams taking place on Monday 14 May and Wednesday 6 June, respectively.

Earlier this month, Holly Woodman from the Claire Clark Academy was named Young Pastry Chef of the Year in the annual competition run by Master Chefs of Great Britain.