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craft guild of chefs graduate awards 2020
19th May 2020

Who has made the semi-finals of the 2020 Graduate Awards?

Written by: David Foad
Thirty-three chefs have been invited to join the next stage of the Graduate Awards following a big reveal on a webinar on May 18th. Founder, Steve Munkley was joined by fellow organiser, Mark Hill from the House of Commons and examiners, Russell Bateman and Will Torrent.

They shared lots of advice to help chefs’ careers during the coronavirus crisis before announcing which chefs have made it through.

For the first time, the Graduate Awards were open to kitchen and pastry chefs, aged 25 and under. Taking part in these annual awards provides the opportunity for young chefs, who are now in the workplace, to develop their culinary skills. With the chance to go on and compete in Young National Chef of the Year, it also puts chefs who make the grade firmly into the industry spotlight. Successful chefs will be aiming to take part in the final exam to be held later in the year.

During the kitchen final exam, chefs will complete a butchery and fishmongery task, paper exam and create a main course using a mystery basket of ingredients before making a classic dessert. In the pastry exam, the creative chefs will complete a variety of pastry challenges briefed by chair of judges, Will Torrent.

This week, chefs will be receiving their packs for the semi-finals stage so they can use the time to practise and seek advice from their mentors.

Steve Munkley, founder of the Graduate Awards and Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “I have been using my time in lockdown to work out ways to make sure the Graduate Awards can safely go ahead and look at how we can offer everyone who enters something valuable. Putting yourself forward for an event like this, especially when faced with such uncertainty, shows real character and resilience and we need to nurture and help these young chefs as much as we can.

"They are the next senior chefs of our industry. Deciding who would go through to the semi-finals proved a real challenge for me in the selection process but the Craft Guild of Chefs will be on hand to help all entrants as the next generation need our support now more than ever.”

You can watch the webinar using this link:

Here is a full list of the semi-finalists:

Kitchen semi-finalists

  • Megan Beale, Dumbleton Hall Hotel
  • Harry William Thornley Laycock, The Manor House Hotel and Golf Club
  • Ben Dullea, Pomonas
  • Nestor Masudi, Coworth Park Hotel
  • Nikoletta Theofylaktidou, The Game Bird at The Stafford
  • Annie Ryder, The Westbury Hotel Mayfair
  • Robert McCreery Breen, The Royal Household
  • Faye Natalie de Souza, Restaurant Associates
  • Emma Louise Ryder, RAF Club
  • Arron Varley, The Red Lion Freehouse
  • Conor Anthony Bird, House of Commons
  • Sam Austin, The Swan at Lavenham
  • Thomas Pymer, Goldstar Recruitment
  • Jonathan Smith, Roux at Parliament Square
  • Luke Morton, The Vineyard Hotel
  • Ben Hunt, Wentworth Golf Club
  • Josh Crawford, Sleepy Hollow
  • Alexandra Henderson, The Lansdowne Club
  • Lorenzo Di Stefano, The French House
  • Higinio Machado, The Savoy
  • Dervis Mustafa            , Petrus
  • Aneta Styrkacz            , The Ritz Hotel
  • Thomas Herbert, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa
  • Callum Smart,             Winteringham Fields

Pastry semi-finalists

  • Barbara Marafona, The Lansdowne Club
  • Ranna Ameer, St James Hotel and Club/Seven Park Place
  • Natalia Suner Torres, Royal Garden Hotel
  • Tiziana Russo, Aviator Farnborough
  • Julia Buri, Wentworth Club
  • Lillian Savage, The Royal Household
  • Mark Walker, Forge Restaurant
  • Katherine Altham, Roundthorn Country House, Penrith
  • Zephaniah Pierre, Krave Restaurant