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Entries open for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards
20/02/2017 - 14:03
Entries are open for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards, which are celebrating their 15th birthday.
Written by Andrew McClean
The Graduate Awards are an examination for chefs, aged 23 and under, designed to test and improve the skills that chefs have learnt at college and in their early careers, and take them to the next level.
Steve Munkley, founder and organiser of the Graduate Awards, said: “When I created these awards I wanted to provide an opportunity for young chefs to be pushed into the spotlight.
“There is so much talent out there and these awards help us find those chefs. I am really proud that the Graduate Awards is celebrating its 15th birthday this year and we’re looking forward to discovering who will be the next chefs to join the Hall of Fame.”
The one-day examination 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 high profile examiners.
To achieve the Graduate Award chefs must achieve a pass mark of 85% or higher and one chef will receive the Highest Achiever Award, with a top mentor being awarded the Employer’s Award for Excellence in Training. The Pastry Graduate Award is also back for its second year and the Craft Guild of Chefs is on the hunt for chefs to follow in the footsteps of last year’s highest achiever, Kacey Bignell.
Chair of Examiners, Russell Bateman, said: “As a head chef, I look out for young chefs who have the drive and determination needed to pass the Graduate Awards. I’ve witnessed some amazing talent come through these awards and go on to win national competitions, land fantastic jobs and even work around the world. I’d say to all head chefs to encourage your young chefs to enter as it will only add to your business.”
To celebrate the 15 year milestone, Steve Munkley has revealed 15 reasons why young chefs should enter themselves into one of the toughest, but most rewarding challenges, for a young culinary star.
15 reasons to enter
- Graduates work with a mentor throughout the process who is there to guide and advise on how to get the most from the whole experience and help hone skills.
- The event is sponsored by many suppliers who donate amazing prizes for the Graduates including culinary trips, chef experiences and equipment.
- Those who pass the Graduate Awards exam will join the 53 chefs who are already in the Hall of Fame, a title that lasts a lifetime.
- There is an opportunity for chefs to achieve the Highest Achiever Award which has been known to project a young chef’s career to new levels.
- All chefs who achieve the Graduate pass mark will have the opportunity to compete in the semi-finals of Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY).
- A Mentor Day is arranged for all finalists to learn from examiners and other industry experts.
- The Graduate Awards focus purely on developing a chefs’ skills and this is something that will help define and progress careers.
- Chefs will be observed and judged by some of the leading chefs in the UK including Chair of Examiners, Russell Bateman.
- Each candidate will receive feedback from the examiners on how they performed with advice given for how their skills can be improved.
- The Graduate Awards examination is an impressive addition to any CV and has helped define careers for previous Graduates.
- Entering the Graduate Awards shows future employers that you have a true commitment to your own career and the industry.
- Many Graduates have seen fantastic progression with the certificate under their belt 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.
- Getting through the various stages of the Graduate Awards provides many media opportunities which will help raise a chefs’ profile.
- The mystery basket provides young chefs with the opportunity to show their own creative flair away from their workplace kitchens.
- The Pastry Award provides pastry chefs with an opportunity to put their skills to the test and showcase their talent.