SG Olive Barnett Award

The award was named after the formidable Miss Olive Barnett, (later Mrs Martin French), who was the right hand to Sir Hugh Wontner, Chairman of The Savoy Group of Hotels. Miss Barnett was working at The Savoy even prior to Mr Wontner 

(as he was then) joining the company in 1938. She was also responsible for the creation of the prestigious Savoy Management Training scheme and the establishment of the Savoy Training Centre which existed for over fifty years.  The Olive Barnett Award was created by The Savoy Gastronomes in 1974 to reward and acknowledge those up to 30 years of age who worked in one of the vital customer front office roles in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. Many award winners participated as guests in spectacular Savoy Gastronomes Annual Reunions, some overseas, as part of their Award.


The award has been supported by various sponsors over the years including The Langham Hotel, Chess Partnership, The Savoy, Claridges, Learnpurple and but a special mention must be made to The Savoy Educational Trust and the Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne for their wonderful support over many years, in providing sponsorship and world class training and prizes for the winners. 

Latterly, the Award was presented in conjunction with Springboard, a charity that has done much to nurture and encourage talent of those starting out in their careers within the hospitality industry. Springboard assisted us in developing and raising 

the profile of the award in the UK in a way not possible by a few members of the The Savoy Gastronomes Committee. 

The Savoy Gastronomes would also like to thank those committee members who played a part however big or small, in creating and running the award. It provided great pleasure en route to see young people develop as a result of entering and winning and now we can see them taking on important roles in the hospitality industry worldwide. 


The last Award was made in 2012 and subsequent Committees have agreed that with more accolades presented within the industry it might be time to keep the Olive Barnett Award until a time when the industry is no longer the media’s darling, then the hard work that Miss Barnett was renowned for encouraging, may once again commence.


Olive Barnett Award Winners

1975  Timothy Cumming 

1976  P.Roebuck

1977  Francis Watt

1978  No Award Presented

1979  Ian Scarth

1980  Christopher Reid

1981  Mark Jones

1982  Alexandra Hurley

1983  Dominic d'Aico

1984  Dominic d'mico

1985  Richard Faulkes

1986  Julian Tomlin

1987  Stephen Blackburne

1988  No Award Presented

1989  Mark Kennedy

1990  Alison Platel

1991  Victoria Spencer-Jones

1992  Julian Tee

1993  Virginia Masser

1994  Jonathan Reynolds

1995  No Award Presented

1996  Lucinda Copestick

1997  No Award Presented

1998  No Award Presented

1999  Patrick Smith

2000  Launch of Worldwide Olive Barnett Award

2001  Jennifer Turner

2002  Michelle Clements

2003  Award being revised, discussion with Springboard UK.

2004  New Award administered by Springboard UK - John Cole

2005  Kelly Morgan

2006  Jessica Cain

2007  Toby Hartley

2008  Edward Viita

2009  Benjamin McEwen

2010  Amy Dignon

2011  Assia Riccio Smith

2012  Pamela Debattista

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