A talented waitress at city-centre restaurant Opus at Cornwall Street, Gabriella Murea, has achieved the celebrated Service Award at this year’s Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Annual Awards of Excellence.

The final, which took place on Saturday 16th May at Le Gavroche, London, saw Gabriella and 15 other finalists from some of the country’s finest restaurants and hotels serve a three course meal to two guests. As part of the service, Gabriella had to set up the table, decant and describe the wine, and fillet a dover sole in front of the diners. The awards, which have a high-profile judging panel, received an unprecedented number of entries and are designed to encourage young people within hospitality to achieve the highest possible standards in their profession.

Gabriella, 26, has worked at Opus for just over six months whilst studying hospitality and events management at University College Birmingham (UCB) and was the only finalist from the Midlands to be shortlisted for the award. Speaking about her achievement, she said: “I’m so happy to have passed and got my award. I prepared as much as I could for each stage of the process and it has really paid off. The standard was very high and I am delighted that the judges saw the quality of work that I can produce and felt it worthy of the award.”

Irene Allan, restaurant director at Opus restaurant, said: “This is such a fantastic achievement for Gabriella. She is an absolute perfectionist and always delivers superb service, so to have this award as recognition of that is a huge accomplishment. Pawel, our restaurant manager, has been an inspiring mentor for Gabriella and has supported all her hard work. We are committed to developing both our front of house and kitchen teams and encourage them to go for awards like this. Everyone at Opus is immensely proud of her and we’re privileged to have her working with us.”

 

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