Lydia Forte joins Gold Service Scholarship board of trustees

Lydia Forte joins Gold Service Scholarship board of trustees

Lydia Forte, group director of food & beverage at Rocco Forte Hotels, has joined the Gold Service Scholarship board of trustees. In her role, Forte will support existing trustees to help shape and direct the future of the industry’s only dedicated scholarship for front-of-house professionals.

Forte joins founding chairman, Alastair Storey, alongside trustee and chair of judges, Edward Griffiths, and other trustees, Silvano Giraldin, Sergio Rebecchi, Thomas Kochs, Knut Wylde, Alessandro Fasoli, and Secretariat, David Battersby. All board members and trustees voluntarily support the competition judging process, help mentor entrants through the competition, as well as offer ongoing career support and guidance.

The Gold Service Scholarship is open to individuals aged 22-28 who work full-time in front of house food and beverage service in the UK hospitality industry. Over the last decade, candidates have come from a range of hotels and restaurants across the UK, as well as event and foodservice companies, Royal Palaces, and private clubs.

Lydia, daughter of Sir Rocco Forte, who himself is an ambassador and sponsor of the scholarship, is responsible for the performance of Rocco Forte Hotels’ food and beverage portfolio.

Her career to date has seen her receive widespread industry recognition. Rocco Forte Nourish, a healthy eating programme created by Lydia and her sister Irene across the group’s hotels, won a Catey Award in 2017; she also won Top Family Business Rising Star at the European Families in Business Awards in 2018; and she was also selected to be an investor in the first season of the BBC Two television series Million Pound Menu.

After graduating from the University of Oxford, where she read Modern History, Forte worked as a waitress at Hix in London’s Soho, and then as assistant manager of the Markham Inn in Chelsea.

After studying for an MBA at INSEAD in 2013, she returned to the company in 2014 to work on further restaurant projects. She is also on the development board for her local charity West London Zone, which supports children at risk.

The news follows the recent announcement of the latest Gold Service Scholar, Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop, a footman at the Royal Household.

Forte said: “I’ve always been passionate about restaurants, particularly delivering fantastic service and interacting with guests. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees on how we can inspire the next generation of service professionals and show young people the opportunities a career in hospitality can offer, as well as support and develop them to reach their full potential.”

Storey added: “On behalf of the entire board, we warmly welcome Lydia Forte as our newest trustee. As a scholarship, we have had a longstanding relationship with the Forte family and their support of the scholarship together with that of the Lord Forte Foundation, has been incredible. We look forward to the expertise Lydia will bring to the board as we look to continue to build on the successes of the last 10 years.”

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