THE sous chef at the Cary Arms in Babbacombe Bay, Steve Poyner, has been named the hotel's Employee of the Year 2013.
Steve, a former South Devon College student, was awarded a fabulous all-expenses week's holiday to Grenada at the sister property, the Mount Cinnamon Resort and Beach Club.
Runner-up was marketing and sales manager Michelle Carey who receives an all-expenses weekend at the other sister property, the Old Swan and Minster Mill, in the Cotswolds.
The accolades were presented by Stephen Criddle, South Devon College principal, and Carolyn Custerson, chief executive of the English Riviera Tourism Company.
Lana de Savary, wife of international entrepreneur and philanthropist Peter de Savary, set up the incentive scheme two years ago as a combination of reward, recognition and feedback.
She said: "We want staff to know we are recognising they are doing a good job and feel valued as a result. They also know how they are performing and know what good things will happen to them if they raise their game.
"Without the hard work and drive of the staff, the Cary Arms and its sister properties wouldn't be the success they continue to be.
"I'm thrilled for Steve and Michelle. Both have worked incredibly hard over the last year. It is a great accomplishment and brilliant recognition for the two of them."
Steve left South Devon College with an NVQ2 Food Cookery qualification and joined the Cary Arms in 2009, initially as commis chef.
After a year, a move to the sister property, the Old Swan and Minster Mill in the Cotswolds. A promotion to chef de partie, saw him stay for two years until the offer of a further promotion to sous chef enticed him back to Devon and the Cary Arms.
Steve said: "I'm really grateful to Mr and Mrs de Savary for the opportunity and encouragement I've been given to help develop my career."
Stephen Criddle, principal of South Devon College, said: "It is brilliant to see a young chef with Steve's passion and commitment succeeding so well.
"We are delighted he has built on his excellent training with South Devon College to really develop his career with a high quality local employer.
"The Cary Arms is a great supporter of local talent and I hope other young people will be encouraged by Steve's example and success."