Graduate Awards

2016 Graduate Awards

The Graduate Awards do a fantastic job for showcasing young talent and it’s a fantastic additions 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

Did you know only 48 chefs have ever passed the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards? Could you be the next chef to join the Graduates hall of fame? Do you have a chef in your kitchen who you believe could make the grade? The 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.

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 set to be an exciting year with Russell Bateman taking over as Chair of Examiners and the launch of a new Pastry Graduate Award.

You could help a young chef Graduate this year

The Craft Guild of Chefs is calling for senior chefs to become a mentor and recognise the young talent that is in kitchens across the UK by encouraging chefs under the age of 23 to be part of this event.

You can find out more about what it’s like to be part of these awards and download the entry form on The Staff Canteen website including interviews with previous Graduates and the video from last year’s final test.  The closing date for entries is 6th May 2016.

Join in the conversation about the Graduate Awards by tweeting @Craft_Guild and using the hashtag #CGCGradAwards.

Please send completed forms to Faye Nicholson at the Craft Guild of Chefs -

The Craft Guild of Chefs
1 Victoria Parade
by 331 Sandycombe Road
Richmond, Surrey TW9 3NB
Tel: 020 8948 3870
Tel: 07739 748889

Latest news from Graduate Awards

25 May 2016
Today the Craft Guild of Chefs has unveiled which 32 chefs will be heading to the heats of the Kitchen Graduate Award and the first ever Pastry Graduate Award.
05 May 2016
Following last week’s call for mentors the Craft Guild of Chefs has extended the deadline for this year’s Graduate Awards.
28 April 2016
The Craft Guild of Chefs is launching an appeal for mentors in its Graduate Awards scheme. The Guild is calling on established chefs to get behind the young talent in their kitchens and support them in working towards one of the industry’s most impressive accolades.
23 February 2016
The Craft Guild of Chefs is looking for chefs under the age of 23 to enter the 2016 Graduate Awards. Entries are now open and young chefs have until Friday 6th May to complete the entry form.
04 September 2015
Five “exceptional” young chefs working in restaurants across the UK are celebrating becoming the latest ones to watch after passing this year’s Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards.

More news from Graduate Awards

24 June 2015
The mix of working restaurant, hotel and college chefs received the news following this week’s semi-final heats at Sheffield College and University of West London, where 20 chefs took part in...
04 February 2015
With Paul Gayler MBE signed up as chairman of examiners for the third year, the awards give chefs aged 23 and under the chance to test the skills acquired in college and honed in the workplace....
05 September 2014
James Newton from the Royal Garden Hotel took the top spot with a score of 87.5% closely followed by Connor Godfrey from Wiltons Restaurant. Joining them on the roll of honour is Ruth Hansom from The...
13 June 2014
Twenty young chefs from across the country were put through their paces in a series of tough culinary challenges at Sheffield College and the University of West London on June 11. Ten successful...
03 June 2014
More than 40 entries were whittled down to a final 20, and these select few will sit the first exam held simultaneously at Sheffield College and the Cardinal Wiseman School in Greenford, Middlesex,...

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