A record-breaking 36 chefs will be heading to the Craft Guild of Chefs Kitchen and Pastry Graduate Awards semi-finals next month.
The heats will take place on 15 June at the University of West London and Sheffield College. During this stage, candidates will have to demonstrate their culinary skills in front of the examiners, led by 2014 National Chef of the Year Russell Bateman.
This year celebrates 15 years of the Graduate Awards, which were founded by vice-president Steve Munkley in 2002, who felt there was a need in the industry for providing formal recognition of young chefs' culinary skills.
The Kitchen and Pastry Graduate examination is an award for chefs aged 23 and under to test and improve the skills they have learned at college and in their early careers, and take them to the next level.
The final exam takes place at University College Birmingham on 22 August, with an anniversary lunch taking place at the Royal Garden hotel on 11 September.
Steve Munkley, executive head chef at the Royal Garden hotel, said: "We moved the entry process online as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for chefs to be part of the event. Not only did we increase the number of entries but the establishments that chefs work at are some of the best in the UK. There were many high-quality entries which made it difficult to whittle the chefs down to just two heats but I'm confident we're going to see some great chefs coming through with that certificate this year."
Yolande Stanley, chair of pastry examiners, added: "This is only the second year of the Pastry Graduate Award and I'm delighted that we doubled the number of entries this year. It recognises the importance of putting pastry in the spotlight and gives these young chefs a platform to not only develop their skills but also get their names out into the wider industry. I'm looking forward to seeing how the chefs perform when we get them into the kitchen next month."
The semi-finalists are:
University of West London:
Robert Charlesworth, Grove hotel Stables restaurant
Ioannis Mexis, Elystan Street
Bronwen Jenkins, the Royal Garden hotel
Dominic Williamson, Restaurant 56
Vitor Cardosoestrades, Gather & Gather
Daryl Fardon, Colette's at the Grove
Jessica Deakin, the Compasses Inn
Joe Payne, Andre Garrett Restaurant Cliveden House
Rory Seaman, Wiltons
Gilles Varone, Petrus restaurant
Kristina Micallef, the Bingham hotel
Raymond Steplin, House of Commons
Jordon Powell, Alyn Williams at the Westbury
Jake Pole, South Sands hotel
Alan Howard, Dobson & Parnell
Jordan Clark, Manor House Hotel Oban
Rory Flood, the Swan at the Globe
Alexander Knowles, the Hope and Anchor
Sian Dixon, Browns Lane
Chor Fai Shek, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
Andrew Evans, Leasowe Castle
Vince Vermeulen, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
William Keeble, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons
Michael Morrey, the Cradock Arms
Edward William Hardy Carroll, Compass Group UK
Adam Phillips, Colette's at the Grove
Lewis Kuciers, the Black Bull at Blidworth
University of West London Pastry:
Sophia Sotiriou, Hotel Cafe Royal
Amy Rose Plumb, Titchwell Manor hotel
Danielle Washington, Lord's Cricket Ground
Megan Roberts, Harvey Nichols Birmingham
Louis Hall, Corinthia Hotel London
Leandra Molina Beato, Simpsons restaurant
Lorenzo Fleurie, London Hilton on Park Lane
Zaneta Krol, Haworths Restaurant at the Regency hotel
Hannah Catley, Chiltern Firehouse
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