Edward Viita, deputy bars manager at the Langham in London, has won the 2008 Olive Barnett Award, which recognises an outstanding contribution by a person under 30 in a customer-facing role in the industry.
Viita, who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the five-star hotel's new rum bar, Artesian, was singled out for his understanding of green issues as well as his attention to detail and enthusiasm.
The Olive Barnett Award, created by the Savoy Gastronomes and run by Springboard, has been running since 1975.
Anne Pierce, chief executive at Springboard, said: “Edward displayed the attributes of a rising star; enthusiasm, dedication, professionalism and ambition.
“The finalists this year were of an extremely high calibre and it is clear to see that they all have solid 'green' credentials.”
Duncan Palmer, managing director of The Langham, added: “We're delighted that Ed has won this award at the end of the first year of establishing the Artisan Bar at the Langham as a destination bar.
“His attention to detail on the overall concept of our rum bar has been exceptional and he has successfully motivated his team of young bartenders to win awards in its first year of operation.”
Viita wins a career grant of £1,000 a year for the next three years, and a place on the weeklong Lausanne executive education summer programme at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sarah Ingram, operations manager at Holborn Bars, De Vere Venues, London, won second place while Simon Houston, general manager at BaxterStorey, BBC Scotland, was third.
By Christopher Walton
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