Craft Guild of Chefs celebrates 20 years of the Graduate Awards

01 March 2022 by
Craft Guild of Chefs celebrates 20 years of the Graduate Awards

The Craft Guild of Chefs is celebrating 20 years of the Graduate Awards as the 2022 competition opens for entries.

The Graduate Awards are known for accelerating the careers of talented young chefs and its alumni have gone on to win some of the UK's most respected culinary titles and work in Michelin-starred establishments, such as chef Luke Selby of Evelyn's Table in London.

Chefs who enter the competition will be mentored at every stage. This year will see the return of the two-day learning experience, with study visits to Trenchmore wagyu farm, Albury vineyards and Norbury Blue cheesemakers in Surrey, as well as an overnight stay at the De Vere Horsley Estate.

While the process is an exam rather than a competition, successful chefs can take home a host of prizes, ranging from culinary trips to products provided by the awards' list of sponsors. The awards also provide a platform for chefs to progress to competitions such as Young National Chef of the Year.

For two decades the Graduate Awards have been spearheaded by Steve Munkley, vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, who said: "Over the last 20 years, we have seen 84 people achieve the Graduate Award and I've enjoyed following the careers of these dedicated chefs. It's a hard award to achieve, but every chef who goes through the different rounds learns a lot from the experience, which helps their careers. Behind the scenes we are working on some exciting initiatives to make this year's event extra special and more will be revealed as the competition unfolds."

Chef Russell Bateman, who will continue his role of chair of examiners for the kitchen exam for the 20th anniversary celebrations, added: "As a head chef myself I'm appealing to senior chefs across the industry to encourage younger team members to get involved in this award.

"I've always considered this an important event in any young chef's career development and have put many of my own brigade through in recent years. Not only does it help them to develop their culinary skills, but you also see them grow in confidence from the semi-final to the final exam. With the mentor trip back for 2022 and a year of anniversary celebrations, there's never been a more exciting year to get involved."

Will Torrent will continue to lead the pastry exam, supported by award-winning pastry chef Sarah Frankland of Pennyhill Park. For the first time, master chocolatier Paul A Young will join the committee, along with two graduates, Erin Yates and Eleanor De Maria.

To celebrate its anniversary, the Craft Guild of Chefs is also creating a Graduate Awards recipe book, which will include recipes from chefs who achieved the award from 2002 through to 2021.

The deadline for entries is 30 April 2022. For more details about the awards and to enter click here

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