Le Cordon Bleu Scholarship, a competition to find the UK's finest young pastry talent, has confirmed that an internship with three-Michelin-starred chef Clare Smyth is to be one of the prizes in the 2016 contest.
The competition's other partner chefs include Simon Hulstone, Frances Atkins, Anna Hansen, Mark Greenaway and Will Holland, all of whom will help train and mentor the applicants via UK-wide skills demonstrations.
In its fifth year, the contest asks entrants aged 18 and over to upload a short video clip online here, before completing an online application form, and posting a photo of their favourite British cake on Instagram, tagging the LeCordonBleuLondon account with the hashtag #AllYouNeedIsPassion. The deadline for entries is 3 April.
Following a final test at Le Cordon Bleu London in front of a panel of Le Cordon Bleu's world-renowned Master Chefs and lecturers in June, the winner of the contest will go on to receive prizes worth £35,000.
These will include a 12-month training programme at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London featuring the prestigious Diplôme de Pâtisserie, followed by a three-month Diploma in Culinary Management.
The winner will then receive an internship with Smyth, chef-patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay's three-Michelin-starred site in London's Chelsea, who will offer workshops and skills training. The award also includes accommodation in central London with partner Urbanest.
Overall, the contest seeks to help raise awareness of the shortage of chefs in the UK, and contribute to Le Cordon Bleu's overall aim of helping emerging UK talent gain traditional skills and develop knowledge of the latest trends.
This year's partnership chefs will also travel around the UK to demonstrate skills that applicants may be lucky enough to learn at Le Cordon Bleu, with all applicants advised to attend the event in their region.
Regions will include:
London and the South East: Anna Hansen, the Modern Pantry
South West: Simon Hulstone, the Elephant, Torquay
Wales: Will Holland, Coast, Saundersfoot
The North: Frances Atkins, the Yorke Arms, Pateley Bridge
Scotland and Northern Ireland: Mark Greenaway, Restaurant Mark Greenaway, Edinburgh
Head pâtisserie chef at Le Cordon Bleu London, Julie Walsh, commented: "The scholarship offers a life-changing opportunity for someone who has a passion for pâtisserie. There has never been a more relevant time than now, when the hospitality industry is experiencing a drastic shortage of young chefs with relevant training in traditional techniques."
Speaking about her involvement in the campaign, Smyth said: "I am delighted to be involved with Le Cordon Bleu Scholarship this year. It plays a vital role in our industry to nurture the future stars of tomorrow."
Previous Le Cordon Bleu UK Scholarship Award partners include Tom's Kitchen (Tom Aikens), Koffmann at the Berkeley hotel (Pierre Koffmann), the Ritz (John Williams) and the Square (Philip Howard).
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