As part of its mission to develop and nurture the future stars of the culinary world, the Craft Guild of Chefs has launched its annual appeal for candidates to enter the Graduate Awards.

Launched in 2002, the Guild has seen 69 chefs pass the Graduate Award with former achievers going on to win Young National Chef of the Year, The Roux Scholarship and The National Chef of the Year. This examination is aimed at chefs who have completed their basic culinary qualifications and are wanting to push their skills further. Open to chefs aged 23 and under, kitchen and pastry chefs simply need to complete the online entry form with details of their current workplace and a mentor who will support them through the various stages. Those who are successful will be invited to compete in one of two heats, where finalists in the kitchen and pastry award will be selected.  

Successful young chefs will then be given the opportunity of a lifetime as the inspiring mentor experience is back for 2019. Finalists in both the kitchen and pastry award will go on a two-day event in and around the Cotswolds, which will see them visiting local suppliers, including Daylesford Organics, learning skills from industry leaders and enjoying the opportunity to connect and network with chefs from other areas of the industry. The Craft Guild of Chefs will be revealing more details of this opportunity via their social channels over the coming months.

The Guild is looking for chefs who have completed their basic culinary qualifications and are wanting to develop their skills further now they are in the workplace. There is a choice of two examinations for chefs aged 23 and under to enter – a Kitchen and a Pastry Award. Successful chefs will undertake a series of practical challenges, whilst also completing a formal paper examination. Candidates must impress some of the most well-respected chefs in the industry to achieve the 85% pass mark, including Chair of Examiners, Russell Bateman and Pastry Chief Examiner, Will Torrent.

Founder of the Graduate Awards, Steve Munkley, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “Last year was a real highlight for the Graduate Awards as with the support of our sponsors we held our first two-day mentor experience. This offered chefs opportunities they may not otherwise be exposed to in their day jobs and regardless of whether they achieved the pass-mark, they learnt so much from being part of it. It was a huge success and plans are well underway for this year’s event. I’d encourage all head of kitchens to talk to their young chefs about entering as each year we see chefs grow at every stage and it really can push them, and your restaurant, into the limelight.”

Will Torrent who heads up the Pastry Award added: “This will be the fourth year we have run this Pastry Graduate Award and the interest and number of entries is growing year on year. I love how we are making real steps at getting pastry chefs on the map. The skills we see at the final exam are fantastic but most importantly, the journey these chefs go on is incredible, from start to finish. Being part of the Graduate Awards is extremely important to me and a role I’m proud to take on again this year.”

To enter the Graduate Awards 2019, chefs should complete the entry form at http://bit.ly/CGCGrads19 as soon as possible. Entries will close on Friday 26th April 2019. Chefs should keep the semi-finals date of 27th June 2019 free as well as the final exam date of Thursday, 29th August, 2019.