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2023 Graduate Award achievers
9th February 2024

Sarah Frankland teams up with Ben Murphy to lead search for chefs to enter Graduate Awards 2024

Written by: Edward Waddell
The Craft Guild of Chefs has hit the go live button on its entry form for the Graduate Awards and the search is now on to find talented and ambitious young chefs.

For 2024, the Craft Guild of Chefs is proud to unveil a new Chair of Pastry Examiners with executive chef at Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa Sarah Frankland taking up the helm. She has some exciting plans for this year’s brief and is looking forward to supporting young pastry chefs through the process. Ben Murphy, chef patron at Launceston Place and former National Chef of the Year winner will continue his role as Chair of the Kitchen Graduate Award.

Speaking about this new role Frankland said: “Having supported many of my own team through this process over the years, it’s an absolute honour to take on the role of Chair of Pastry Examiners. Entering this award helps every chef grow both professionally and personally, whatever stage they get to.

“The role of the mentor is incredibly important in this event and so I would encourage all senior chefs to look at their teams and support the entries of younger team members. It’s a win-win situation as you will be developing your team and young pastry chefs will get so much from this career-changing journey.”

The Graduate Awards is a unique event, as it’s an exam not a competition and there’s no limit on the number of chefs who can pass each year. It provides young chefs in the workplace with so many opportunities to test their skills, learn from peers, make new contacts and push themselves into the spotlight. Semi-finalists and finalists will undertake a series of challenges including a paper-based exam followed by tasks in the kitchen.

Now in its 22nd year, the award continues to grow, and the Guild is inviting all chefs who will be aged under 25 on the 1st of September 2024 to enter. Those who achieve the Kitchen Award will be invited to compete in the Young National Chef of the Year competition in 2025 whilst pastry achievers will be invited on an overseas trip.

To enter the Graduate Awards, chefs simply need to complete the online entry form before the deadline on Tuesday 30th April 2024.

Consultant chef, Steve Munkley founded these awards in 2002 after recognising a gap in the industry for chefs to challenge and develop their culinary skills once they left college. He works alongside a dedicated committee to make this event a positive and memorable experience for every chef who enters.

This includes a two-day mentor experience for all finalists in the summer. Chefs will be heading on an unforgettable foodie experience visiting local producers as well as enjoying masterclasses and networking opportunities.

Munkley commented: “We are delighted that Sarah Frankland has agreed to head up the Pastry Award and we know both her and Ben Murphy will work together to make this another year to remember.

“The opportunities this award gives young chefs are endless and we’ve got so many stories from the Graduate Awards to shout about. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be revealing some of these on our social media channels with live interviews, blogs and spotlights on former Graduate Awards achievers.”

The Graduate Awards wouldn’t be possible without its impressive list of sponsors who are all keen to help the Guild to develop young culinary talent.

This includes The London Meat Co, Oranka, Savoy Educational Trust, Reynolds, Meiko UK, Essential Cuisine, City and Guilds, Robert Welch, Villeroy & Boch, Continental Chef Supplies (CCS), James Knight of Mayfair, Worshipful Company of Cooks, CCE London Ltd, University of West London, Lakeland Dairies, Grande Cuisine, The Caterer, Maldon Salt, NOWAH, Wild Farmed, and Daregal Gourmet.

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs’ association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

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