- Trophies 2023
The 2023 Relais & Châteaux Trophies are presented with partners who share our values and pride in recognizing expertise across a range of fields. They honor achievements from gastronomy to well-being and environmental responsibility, celebrating all those who embody passion for their profession.
Rising Chef Trophy
Saygin Sesli, Executive chef at Museum Hotel (Turkey)
Highlighting the talents of a new generation of chefs who enchant diners with their creativity, Relais & Châteaux and S. Pellegrino award this year’s Rising Chef Trophy to Saygin Sesli, chef at Museum Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey. Leveraging his solid knowledge of Anatolian cuisine, Saygin enhances ancestral Turkish recipes with his unique touch. His commitment to cuisine becomes even clearer when you visit the organic farm he is passionately working to expand despite the region’s arid climate.
Delicious Career Trophy
Christine Monteil, Manager at Château de Berne (France)
Relais & Châteaux and Hennessy are delighted to award the Delicious Career Trophy to Christine Monteil. As manager of the Château de Berne hotel since 2000, she embodies the archetype of the attentive host, attuned to the preferences, habits and needs of her guests, who travel to Château de Berne not only for the exceptional setting, but also for Christine’s warm welcome. The past 22 years have proven her loyalty and strong commitment to her teams and Relais & Châteaux itself.
Lukas Gary Andersen, Bartender at Dragsholm Slot (Denmark)
Relais & Châteaux, Absolut Elyx and Monkey 47 are delighted to present the Cocktail Trophy to Lukas Gary Andersen. His Strawberry & Honey Punch cocktail takes its inspiration from the Lammefjorden region, located just a few minutes from Dragsholm Slot in Denmark. The sandy soil there produces the best strawberries in the country as well as sweet apples and delicate honey. Combined with Absolut Elyx vodka and a splash of lemon, these local ingredients make for a remarkable and refreshing mixological creation.
Renate de Mario Gamper, Spa manager at Castel Fragsburg (Italy)
The 2023 Well-being Trophy, recognizing the savoir-faire of a spa expert and the excellent care they provide for guests, goes to Renate De Mario Gamper, presented by Relais & Châteaux and Orlane. This modern-day alchemist works at Castel Fragsburg in Italy to create and prepare all of the flower- and herb-based beauty elixirs used at Castellum Natura, the first ever alchemistic healing spa. Renate is eager to hand down her knowledge to the spa team, and also offers expert advice to Chef Egon Heiss on how to use medicinal plants within
his culinary creations.
Katherine Benitez, Housekeeping supervisor at Triple Creek Ranch (United States)
Convinced that unfailing expertise has the power to transform a hotel stay into an unforgettable experience, Relais & Châteaux and Glenmorangie are pleased to award the Savoir-Faire Trophy to Katherine Benitez, Housekeeping Manager at Triple Creek Ranch. Adored by her employees, Katherine has an eye for detail and knows how to create a warm, friendly work environment and bring out the best in every member of her team.
Christopher Goodman, Rob Crankshaw and Jessica Maclarty, Heads of Sustainability at Londolozi Game Reserve (South Africa)
Relais and Châteaux and Champagne Duval-Leroy award the sustainability trophy to Christopher Goodman and his team. Each with a degree in permaculture, they put their passions to work in conceiving a ‘Conservation Development Model’ for Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. Collectively they oversee a futuristic African village, with 39 vegetable gardens, a solar farm, a cutting-edge water treatment plant and a host of new systems for living in sympathy with the planet. They truly embody a modern approach to environmental responsibility.
Ginevra Borghi, Front Office Manager at Gallia Palace Beach - Golf - Spa - Resort (Italy)
Driven by the desire to make every moment unique, Relais & Châteaux and Moët & Chandon are pleased to award the 2023 Welcome Trophy to Ginevra Borghi, Front Office Manager at Gallia Palace Beach Golf & Spa Resort in Tuscany, Italy. Her sense of hospitality and her commitment to the values of Relais & Châteaux are unrivaled, as is the care she takes to make every experience an unforgettable moment for guests.
Ethical Cuisine Trophy
Andreas Krolik, Executive chef at Restaurant Lafleur (Germany)
As promoters of committed, ethical cuisine, Relais & Châteaux and Taittinger are pleased to award the 2023 Ethical Cuisine Trophy to Andreas Krolik, chef of the two Michelin-starred Restaurant Lafleur in Germany. A true pioneer when it comes to environmental consciousness, Krolik has incorporated seven entirely vegan dishes, made mostly of regional products, into his menu. His approach to gastronomy is always framed by current environmental and social concerns.
Tom Coward, Head Gardener at Gravetye Manor (United Kingdom)
In recognition of his commitment to handing down his expertise and knowledge, Relais & Châteaux and Blancpain award the 2023 Heritage Trophy to Tom Coward at Gravetye Manor. This garden is a critical chapter in the history of gardens, and Tom is entirely responsible for the vision and scope of its restoration, underway since 2010. Recognized by national press and his peers as one of the best head gardeners in the United Kingdom, he is regularly invited to speak at conferences in Europe and the United States.
Woman of the Year Trophy
Aggie Maseko Banda, Lodge Manager & Partner at Royal Chundu — Luxury Zambezi Lodges (Zambia)
For her engagement and devotion to others, Relais & Châteaux and Pommery are pleased to award the Woman of the Year Trophy to Aggie Maseko Banda. As Lodge Manager and Partner at Royal Chundu–Luxury Zambezi Lodges in Zambia, Aggie has provided unfailing support for the local community via a wide range of projects. She is also committed to sharing Zambian culture with guests. In 2020, she received We Are Africa’s Shape Africa prize for her initiatives. She has also spent the last two years doing online courses about Zambia for Google, Facebook and Netflix.