Five chefs make the grade in the Craft Guild of Chefs' Graduate Awards

08 September 2014 by
Five chefs make the grade in the Craft Guild of Chefs' Graduate Awards

Five young chefs have been made Craft Guild of Chefs' Graduates following a final held at University College Birmingham last month.

The achievers, who were required to achieve a score of 85% or higher in their final examination, were named at an awards ceremony held at the Landmark London on Friday night.

The five chefs are James Newton from the Royal Garden Hotel, who took the highest achiever title with a score of 87.5%, Connor Godfrey from Wilton's Restaurant, Ruth Hansom from the Ritz London, Wayne Herrington of the Landmark London and Victoria Scupham from The Royal Household. As highest achiever, Newton receives a four-day break courtesy of Warner Hotels (Bourne Leisure Group).

The examinations, created by Royal Garden Hotel executive chef Steve Munkley 12 years ago, aim to take what chefs under the age of 23 have learnt at college and in the workplace to the next level.

Finalists completed a theory paper followed by butchery and fishmongery tests before creating a dish using a range of ingredients from a mystery basket. Chefs also had to prepare a classic main course and dessert dish to impress the panel of culinary experts.

Craft Guild of Chefs vice-president and event organiser Munkley said: "This was the calmest final we've ever had and I am certain this was down to the mentor day which took place in July. Chefs had the opportunity to meet each other in advance and find out what was expected of them. The mentor day really puts chefs at ease so there was a fantastic atmosphere in the kitchen, chefs were quiet and focused on the tasks in hand."

He continued: "What makes this competition special is that all of the finalists are able to pass the examination so they all support each other throughout the process and want each other to do well. Some of the chefs put many hours of practice in between the mentor day and final and their hard work and dedication has paid off."

Chairman of judges Paul Gayler added "All in all it was a great day's work for these talented chefs who worked professionally and tidily. It was interesting to see some of the old classics that the judges first cooked at college being brought back for these young chefs to prepare. However, I think these dishes did create some challenges so it made an interesting and exciting final. Congratulations to the five chefs who made the grade this year and I hope to see those who didn't enter again in 2015."

In addition to the graduate awards made on Friday night, Ian Spencer, who works at Buckingham Palace, was presented with the Employer's Awards for Excellence in Training for his work in mentoring finalist Scupham from The Royal Household.

The 2014 Graduate Awards are supported by AAK, CCS, City & Guilds, Essential Cuisine, Gram, James Knight of Mayfair, Landmark London Hotel, Mars Foodservice (Uncle Ben's), Meiko, MKN, Reynolds Catering Supplies, Robert Welch, Savoy Educational Trust, The London Meat Company, Villeroy & Boch and Warner Leisure.

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