The Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed that they are beginning their hunt to find some of the most talented young chefs in the UK as they open entries for the Graduate Awards. Executive chef at The Royal Garden Hotel, Steve Munkley founded these culinary awards in 2002 and during this time, 63 chefs have joined the Graduate Awards Hall of Fame.
The organisers are looking for chefs who have completed their basic chef 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 culinary 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 the new pastry chief examiner, Will Torrent.
Talking about the achievement of former Graduates, Steve Munkley, vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “I always follow the careers of the chefs who have been through the Graduate Awards and in just the last few years we’ve seen many success stories. This includes Danny Hoang and Ruth Hansom taking the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) title, former YNCOTY Ben Champkin making his first National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) final and Lucas Selby going on to do the treble by winning YNCOTY, The Roux Scholarship and NCOTY. I am a strong believer that the Graduate Awards provide the perfect foundation for ambitious chefs who want to develop their skills for their day jobs, future careers and competitions.”
Will Torrent added: “Having watched the success of the first few pastry graduates and what they have gone on to achieve, we are excited to see who will make the grade in 2018. Our first Highest Achiever, Kacey Bignell recognised the impact of getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself into the spotlight and has made huge leaps in her career over the last few years including judging last year’s final. However, whatever stage you get to, it’s an absolute guarantee that you will learn new skills and develop your confidence, so I would encourage all young, dedicated pastry chefs to enter. I am proud to be leading the team of examiners in the Pastry Graduate Award and am passionate about attracting pastry chefs into the industry and helping develop their skills.”
This year the Graduate Awards finalists will be invited to an impressive two days of mentoring in Somerset where they will be transported from London and given a memorable culinary experience and the opportunity to develop their skills in preparation for the final exam.
To enter the Graduate Awards, chefs simply need to complete the short online form http://bit.ly/CGCGradAwards18 and provide reference details for their current employer before Sunday, 1st April 2018. The Craft Guild of Chefs is encouraging industry leaders to play their part by becoming mentors and recommending young talent from their kitchens put themselves forward. Strong guidance plays a key role in the success of candidates, which is why the Guild has an award for one mentor who has made a real impact.