AN area manager from Rubery has won a national hospitality trophy, previously awarded to the likes of Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White.

Tom Jackson, who works for catering company Wilson Vale, was named one of only 30 Acorn Award winners at a ceremony at Broadway's Lygon Arms on Monday, June 4.

Tom said: "I feel very grateful and humbled to have been nominated for this amazing award.

"Being named an Acorn winner makes me appreciate what I have achieved throughout my career to date but especially over the last two years with Wilson Vale.

"The support and encouragement I have received has helped me to grow in confidence and to realise my full potential.”

The 27-year-old is Wilson Vale's youngest area manager, having moved into the contract catering sector two years ago after working in hotels and restaurants.

Within 10 months, Tom was promoted to the operations team, and is now responsible for a portfolio of eight clients, collectively worth more than £5m.

Carolyne Vale, co-founder of Wilson Vale, said: "Tom is not only a talented chef, but he is financially astute and can communicate on all levels.

"He is extremely quick to learn and never seems to be phased by any challenge thrown at him.

“What is extraordinary is his interest in others. He is superb at coaching and developing people.

"That, above all, makes him a perfect fit for Wilson Vale. He sets example for his teams and in doing so, has gained their loyalty and respect.

"He is a brilliant role model and a worthy recipient of an Acorn Award. We are so proud of him.”

The annual Acorn Awards celebrate the achievements of the hospitality industry's brightest young prospects, with each winner nominated by their peers for their outstanding ability in their field.