Ben Dantzic celebrates a top restaurant award

Hats off to Ben Dantzic. Chef hats, that is.

The Glaswegian has been crowned young waiter of the year in the annual Young Chef Young Waiter competition, organised by The Restaurant Association.

Mr Dantzic, 25, is head waiter at the two Michelin-star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in Gleneagles, where he has worked since February.

He tells People: "I love everything to do with food and wine. Being a waiter, you get to speak to lots of people and seeing the guests enjoying the restaurant experience is great."

Mr Dantzic was nominated by his manager. He says: "I had to submit a written application and the finalists then went to a hotel in Durham where we were tested on a variety of skills."

These included customer contact, meal serving, champagne serving plus food and wine matching.

He beat off competition from the two runners-up, both waiters at The Fat Duck in Bray.

Mr Dantzic has been a waiter for eight years - full-time since 2007. He studied hotel and hospitality at the Scottish Hotel School, part of the University of Strathclyde.

As for the future, he says: "The restaurant industry is a tough one to crack. I am still quite young and have plenty to learn. The plan is to get to the top of the industry, either in management or opening my own restaurant."

Among the judges were Simon Girling, restaurant manager at The Ritz and Simon King, The Fat Duck.

    Last updated: 10:55am, November 12 2010