The Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed the names of the 32 young chefs who will compete in the heats of the Kitchen Graduate and the first Pastry Graduate awards.
The heats will take place simultaneously in London and Birmingham on 28 June.
Participants, all under the age of 23, will be required to impress the examiners in a series of culinary challenges.
For this year's awards, Russell Bateman, former National Chef of the Year, will take the reins as chair of examiners.
Chefs must achieve a pass mark of 85% or above to pass the Graduate Award final exam, from a series of skills tests, a theory paper and a mystery basket.
Bateman said: "It was fantastic to see the number of entries rise this year and also see the wide range of establishments that chefs have come from. We've got talented chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants to the House of Commons and from colleges to a variety of contract caterers.
"It's also great to see the incredibly talented list of mentors who will be helping their chefs over the coming months."
The new Pastry Graduate Award will see eight chefs take part in the first ever heat.
Steve Munkley, founder and organiser of the Graduate Awards, said: "I am delighted that we've been able to introduce a Pastry Graduate Award, as this is an area which as an industry we should be promoting as much as possible to improve skills.
"It was great to see some of the leading pastry chefs in the UK helping to push this, and we are really looking forward to seeing who our first Pastry Graduates will be and wish them all good luck in the process."
The final exam will take place in London on 30 August, with the awards ceremony being held on 6 September.
Kitchen London Finalists
- Feroza Akhtar, The Landmark hotel
- Ben Brooke, Galvin La Chapelle
- Erin Jackson Yates, Wiltons
- Jake Leach, The Ledbury
- Eleanor De Maria, Compass House
- Raymond Steplin, House of Commons
- Keiron McGarrigle, Westminster Kingsway College
- Maciey Rapalcz, Royal Garden hotel
- Laural Taylor, Royal Garden hotel
- Dominic Williamson, Restaurant 56
- Amber Francis, The Ritz
- Noah Morrison, Galvin La Chapelle
Kitchen Birmingham Finalists
- Louise Ellen Roberts, Lexington
- Laura Youngs, Feversham Arms hotel
- Jordan Clark, Atholl Arms hotel
- Louis Carey, Sodexo
- Ben Garnett-Sinclair, Lusso Catering
- Joshua Allen, The Woodford
- Lewis Kuciers, Black Bull
- Joseph Lloyd, Bodelwyddan Castle
- Aaron Middleton, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
- Dudley Pankhurst, Cunninghams Bistro
- Matthew Pryce, Haileybury College
- Jack Lively, Sodexo
Pastry Heat in London
- Alexis Jiyoung, The Dorchester
- Rita Souto, Park Lane hotel
- Sophie Buckmaster, Royal Garden hotel
- Joanna Start, Jigsaw Bakery
- Fiona Bailey, The Dragon
- Sanjam Napal, Lowry hotel
- Elizabeth McBride, Hix Soho
- Kacey Bignell, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
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