Charles Parkins has been named as the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts’ (RACA) Young Pastry Chef of the Year.

The commis chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton in Oxford lifted the accolade after attaining the highest marks in the 5.5 hour-long christening-themed examination.

Parkins (pictured right) – together with Lillian Savage from The Royal Household, Ellie Smith from The Wolseley, and Lydia Uglow from Pretty Sweet – was tasked with creating 15 vegan bonbons, 15 Swiss rochers, 15 marshmallow lollipops, and a 20cm christening cake entremets-style that sat on top of a nougatine stand.

All four were named Annual Awards of Excellence (AAE) winners for achieving a score of 70% or more – the standard of excellence set by judges, who included

Yolande Stanley from The Pastry Training Company and pastry consultant Sarah Hartnett.

“I hope that, through the Annual Awards of Excellence, we can motivate and inspire the industry’s young chefs, pastry chefs and waiters to undertake a career of training first themselves, and then others, and to look outside the workplace to wider industry and opportunities,” said John Williams, executive chef at The Ritz London, chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and chair of the judging panel.

The accolade was presented during a gala dinner held at Claridge’s.

Winners in kitchen and service categories were also announced.