Entries are now being sought for this year’s Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards, for chefs 23 years old or younger.
Launched in 2003 to formally recognise a young working chef’s culinary excellence, the awards are designed to test the knowledge and skills of chefs in a series of culinary challenges in a high pressured environment.
This year’s graduates will win a host of prizes including study tours to Luxembourg and a Scottish fish farm.
The highest achiever will also receive a surprise educational trip, while mentors and employers will also be rewarded for the time and effort taken to train their protégés.
To make it more accessible to contenders across the UK, this year’s Graduate Awards will, for the first time, include an additional southern regional heat to accompany the northern round.
Up to 30 candidates based on strength of entry and mentor’s reference will be chosen to compete in the exam style heats. If they are good enough, they will go on to the final cooking test at Westminster Kingsway College where, to pass, finalists must score more than 85%.
The deadline for this year’s entries is 10 April (chefs do not have to be members of the Craft Guild), with first round heats at Birmingham College of Food Technology and Tourism and London Thames Valley University on 9 July.
Successful finalists will take the final test at Westminster Kingsway College on 4 September, with this year’s achievers announced at an Awards Luncheon on Monday 7 September.
The Graduate Awards are sponsored by CCS, James Knight of Mayfair, Johnson Diversey, Justerini & Brooks, The London Meat Co, Pommery Champagne, Reynolds, Royal Garden Hotel, Savoy Educational Trust, Villeroy & Boch and Worshipfull Company of Cooks.
By Daniel Thomas