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For 2020, the Craft Guild of Chefs has introduced a new age limit to its Kitchen and Pastry Graduate Awards to reflect industry trends. The Guild recognises that many chefs are starting their culinary careers slightly later due to the national changes to school leaver options and chefs preferring to gain workplace experience before entering awards and competitions. To give more young chefs the opportunity to get involved and pass this exam, the organisers have extended the age limit to 25. 

What are the Graduate Awards?

Launched in 2002, the Guild has seen 76 chefs pass the Graduate Award with former achievers going on to win Young National Chef of the Year, The Roux Scholarship and The National Chef of the Year. This examination is aimed at chefs who have completed their basic culinary qualifications and are wanting to push their skills further. Kitchen and pastry chefs simply need to complete the online entry form with details of their current workplace and a mentor who will support them through the various stages. Those who are successful will be invited to compete in one of two heats, where finalists in the kitchen and pastry award will be selected.  

Successful young chefs will then be given the 'opportunity of a lifetime' as the inspiring mentor experience is back for 2020. Finalists in both the kitchen and pastry award will go on a two-day event which will see them visiting local suppliers, learning skills from industry leaders and enjoying the opportunity to connect and network with chefs from other areas of the industry. The Craft Guild of Chefs will be revealing more details of this opportunity via their social channels over the coming months. 

Who should enter?

The Guild is looking for chefs who have completed their basic culinary qualifications and are wanting to develop their skills further now they are in the workplace. There is a choice of two examinations for chefs aged 25 and under to enter – a Kitchen and a Pastry Award. Successful chefs will undertake a series of practical challenges, whilst also completing a short multiple-choice paper. Candidates must impress some of the most well-respected chefs in the industry to achieve the 85% pass mark, including chair of examiners, Russell Bateman and chief pastry examiner, Will Torrent.

How to enter?

To enter the Graduate Awards 2020, chefs should complete the entry form at as soon as possible. Entries will close on Thursday 30th April 2020. Chefs should keep an eye on future announcements about the new semi-finals date as well as the final exam date.


Latest Graduate Awards News

05th Aug 2020

Plans progressing well for the Graduate Awards 2020

By: Edward Waddell
Munkley was determined to ensure young chefs have the opportunity to develop their skills and promote their talent, despite the setbacks caused by Covid-19. He said: “Since March, the hospitality

16th Sep 2019

Craft Guild celebrates seven young graduates

By: Edward Waddell
Regarded as ‘one of the hardest skills tests in the industry’, a total of 15 chefs undertook the final kitchen or pastry exams - after completing an online entry form and regional heats. To join the

More Graduate Awards News

03rd Sep 2018
Regarded as one of the hardest skills tests in the industry, a total 14 chefs undertook the final kitchen or pastry exams -...
24th Aug 2018
Launched a few years ago by organiser Steve Munkley, the mentor day brings finalists together to watch masterclasses, meet...
30th May 2018
Of the 60 entrants, 24 were invited to cook in the London or Sheffield heat last week (23 May), and all currently work in...
11th May 2018
Open to chefs aged 23 and under, the Kitchen and Pastry Graduate examinations were founded by Craft Guild Vice-President...
29th Mar 2018
Created to “provide formal recognition of young chefs’s culinary excellence,” the Graduate Awards are open to chefs under the...
24th Jan 2018
Founded by executive chef at The Royal Garden Hotel, Steve Munkley in 2002, the culinary awards look for young chefs (aged 23...
12th Jan 2018
After undergoing a series of tests in the full day graduate examinations held at University College Birmingham, five chefs...
26th May 2017
The heats will take place on Thursday 15th June at the University of West London and Sheffield College. During this stage...
27th Jan 2014
Successful candidates will have to pass a number of culinary challenges in a high-pressured environment. Those that reach the...
17th Sep 2013
As well as Bingham, four other chefs graduated. These were Luke Selby also from Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Claire Willett...