“The Graduate Awards do a fantastic job for showcasing young talent and it’s a fantastic addition to your CV. Your skills are tested in so many different areas, rather than in just one aspect. The Guild are able to get your name out into wider industry as the prizes and opportunities that come with passing the final exam are amazing.”
James Goodyear, chef de partie at Maaemo in Oslo
The Graduate Awards were founded in 2002 by Vice-President, Steve Munkley, who saw a real need in the industry for providing formal recognition of young chefs’ culinary excellence. Only 48 chefs have ever passed the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards but each year we are on the lookout for new chefs to enter.
What does it take to be a Graduate?
It is an examination created to test and improve the skills which chefs have learnt at college and in their early careers, and take them to the next level. Chefs have to go through a tough entry process including a paper entry, heats and then final examination. This includes a theory paper, butchery and fishmongery tasks as well as creating a ‘mystery basket’ dish, classic main course and a dessert that will really impress the panel of culinary experts.
Receiving the Graduate Award has proved career changing with previous Graduates going on to gain Michelin stars, work in some of the World’s top restaurants, be part of the World Skills team and even win the Young National Chef of the Year title.
2016 marks the 14th year of the Graduate Awards examinations and with so much talk about lack of skills and chef shortages, it provides the perfect opportunity to improve young chefs’ skills and showcase the culinary talent the UK has to offer. It’s an exciting year with Russell Bateman taking over as Chair of Examiners and the launch of a new Pastry Graduate Award.
How to become a Graduate
You can find out more about what it’s like to be part of these awards on The Staff Canteen website including interviews with previous Graduates and the video from last year’s final exam. The final exam takes place on Tuesday 30th August with the results being announced at an awards ceremony on Tuesday 6th September.
The entry process for 2016 has closed and will re-open in January 2017. If you’d like to be notified when the entries are open ,please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your email address.
Join in the conversation about the Graduate Awards by tweeting @Craft_Guild and using the hashtag #CGCGradAwards.
Our 2016 finalists
The finalists for 2016 have been announced and are listed below.
Ben Brooke, Galvin La Chapelle
Erin Jackson Yates, Wiltons
Jake Leach, The Ledbury
Eleanor De Maria, Compass House
Keiron McGarrigle, Westminster Kingsway College
Andre Rhone, The Bingham
Amber Francis, The Ritz
Louise Ellen Roberts, Lexington
Joseph Allen, The Woodford
Lewis Kuciers, Black Bull
Aaron Middleton, Belmond Le Manoir
Dudley Pankhurst, Cunninghams Bistro
Rita Souto, Park Lane Hotel
Fiona Bailey, The Dragon
Elizabeth McBride, Hix Soho
Kacey Bignell, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
When: Tuesday 6th September 2016
Where: The Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London, W1J 7BX
TImings: Arrival - 18:30 / Awards Presentation - 19:00 / Drinks & Canapes - 20:30