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Carmen hits the top spot at Industry Awards

During a glittering awards ceremony, held at Lainston House Hotel in Winchester, Level 3 Food & Beverage Supervision student Carmen Darmanin was announced as the Institute of Hospitality’s Front of House Student of the Year, beating of stiff competition within her category.

In order to enter the awards, Carmen and a number of other students from Eastleigh College went through a rigorous entry process, which included lecturer nominations, a student application and lecturer references, a video interview and an appraisal of the students at work. Out of the abundance of entries, the College was thrilled to see three students progress through to the final in the Student Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef Student of the Year and Front of House Student of the Year categories.

When receiving the award, Carmen commented, “I was so shocked, overwhelmed and happy! My lecturer was screaming, and everyone was just hugging me! I felt so supported by everyone; it was such a fantastic feeling. I just couldn’t believe it was me, especially given how tough the competition was; I can’t quite put it into words; it was so surreal!”

“The awards have opened up so many opportunities for me; the head of the Institute nationally gave me her card and asked me to contact her, and I’ve also been invited to an AA Rosette inspection at a top restaurant, which is amazing! Not many people have opportunities like that, and I’m 18 and already doing it! I’m so proud of my achievement.”

“This experience has definitely influenced what I am going to do next; the invitations I have received as a result of winning could open so many doors. I’m just going to make the most of these opportunities and see what takes my fancy!”

Sue Lyons, course manager for Catering and Hospitality at Eastleigh College, who attended the ceremony added, “We are so thrilled for Carmen and her fantastic achievement, which she thoroughly deserved to win. As a department we are always looking for ways to showcase the excellent work that our students do, and are so pleased to see that Carmen has been recognised by her industry in this way; congratulations again!”

To find out more about how the College supports its students into work, or to learn more about our Hospitality and Catering courses, please click here.