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11th May 2018

Craft Guild announces 26 Graduate Awards semi-finalists

Written by: Katie Imms
The Craft Guild of Chefs has today (11 May) announced the 26 young chefs going through to its 2018 Graduate Awards semi-finals.

Open to chefs aged 23 and under, the Kitchen and Pastry Graduate examinations were founded by Craft Guild Vice-President, Steve Munkley, in 2002, to test and improve the skills young chefs learn at college and in their early careers, and take them to the next level.

This year’s kitchen heats will take place 23 May at Sheffield College and Westminster Kingsway, and the pastry heat on 25 May at the University of West London.

The semi-finalists are as below:

2018 Kitchen Graduate Award semi-finalists

  • Chor Fai Shek, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
  • Bronwen Jenkins, Royal Garden Hotel
  • Josh Mcgeoghan, Colettes at The Grove
  • Adam Nevin, Alyn Williams at the Westbury
  • Faye Natalie De Souza, Restaurant Associates at Deloitte
  • Opeoluwa Odutayo, Launceston Place
  • Charlie Watts, Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa
  • Miguel Pinto, Hotel Café Royal
  • Zachary Hermon, Dormy House
  • Theodore Selby, Hide Above 85 Piccadilly
  • Isabel Wallace-Hadrill, Coutts Bank
  • Jordon Powell, 1877 Restaurant - Wotton House Hotel
  • Ashleigh Sheppard, Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf and Spa
  • Christina Welz, Hambleton Hall Hotel
  • George Birtwell, TRUEfoods
  • Alice Roger, The Vineyard
  • Ben Cowley, Simpsons Restaurant
  • Robert Hartley, The Anchor Ripley
  • Lewis Dobson, Radmoor Restaurant

2018 Pastry Graduate Award semi-finalists

  • Evie Mae Moore, Shangri-La Hotel At The Shard
  • Ieuan Davies, Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa
  • Emile Druart, The Vineyard
  • Matthew Kieran Ross, The Milton Brasserie
  • Laura Aylott, The Thatchers Arms
  • Emma Lawson, Northcote Manor
  • Sofia Kamenova Petrova, Ham Yard Hotel

Munkley said: “Each year we look at how we can develop and grow the Graduate Awards. Since the introduction of our mentor day – (the Craft Guild has introduced a two-day mentor experience for 2018, where finalists will learn from industry experts while developing their skills ahead of the final exam) - we’ve seen a higher level of skill at the final exam, and that’s one of the reasons we have extended the event.

“Those who get to the final will be transported from London to Cadbury Court in Somerset, and be part of a memorable culinary experience with the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge in preparation for the final exam.

“But before that stage, they must impress our examiners in the north and south heats. Only the best chefs will get to sit the final exam, so I recommend all chefs put the work in now.

“Those who stand out each year are the chefs who show classic skills, determination, a passion for food and a drive to succeed.”

Will Torrent, new Chair of the Pastry Examiners, added: “It’s the third year of the Pastry Graduate Award and the number of entries is growing year-on-year, so it was a tough job whittling the chefs down.

“However, I am confident that we have selected a talented group of pastry chefs to take to the next stage and am looking forward to seeing how they tackle the various challenges that we have in-store for them at the semi-final.”

You can follow all the action from the Graduate Awards 2018 on social media by following #CGCGradAwards.