The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is seeking entrants to the eighth Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) programme, which was officially launched last night at a dinner at Searcys' 30 Pavilion Road in London's Knightsbridge.
One of the industry's most prestigious award for head chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers, the MCA is based on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF).
It is conferred on those who have displayed mastery of the complex, specialist knowledge and skills in culinary arts which are required to be a first class chef, pastry chef, or for restaurant management and service.
Applicants must have at least 10 years' experience with three of those at senior level, the ability to demonstrate their skills under pressure and provide evidence of contributing to the training and development of others.
Entries for the programme close on 31 March before a series of semi-finals in London and Birmingham, ahead of a gala presentation dinner at Claridge's in London on Thursday 5 October.
As well as hosting the launch event, two of Searcys' own team intend to enter the programme to become a Master of Culinary Arts,
Entering the restaurant manager category, Karim Le Cloarec, general manager at Searcys at The Gherkin, who has extensive knowledge and experience pairing wines with high quality food, said; "The MCA is widely acknowledged as one of the toughest awards in the world of culinary arts and I am honoured to be part of it.
"To be able to host the launch event within the Searcys portfolio, at 30 Pavilion Road is also very special," he added.
Speaking about the awards, John Williams, executive chef of the Ritz in London and chairman of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: "The MCA is the highest honour in the catering industry; it examines the very finest details in service, pastry and kitchen and is the pinnacle of each discipline. For me, a Master of Culinary Arts is a person who strives for perfection in their profession and has the grace and elegance to promote our craft to the next generation."
Video from The Caterer archives