Following two rounds of heats at West Herts College and Sheffield College last week, 13 chefs will be cooking in the final exam of the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards in September.
In the cook-offs, chefs completed a series of practical challenges, including using Quorn in a starter. The exams were observed by former National Chef of the Year Russell Bateman and chief pastry examiner Will Torrent.
The Kitchen Graduate Award finalists are:
- Adem Eyyup Ali, third-year apprentice apprentice, the Ivy West Street, London
- Benjamin Peter Mabley, third-year RACA apprentice, Hartwell House hotel, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
- Charles Kenneth Knight, commis chef, House of Commons, London
- George Baldwin-Edie, development chef, Marks & Spencer
- Joshua Singer, chef de partie apprentice, Scott's, London
- Chris Lowe, junior sous chef, New Hall hotel, Birmingham
- Phillip Ho, commis chef, Chefs' Academy, Newcastle
- Theo Hadjitofi, chef de partie, De Banke Group
- Faye De Souza, chef, Skyview Suites Kitchen at Wimbledon Centre Court, London
- Jonathan Smith, demi chef de partie, Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex
The Pastry Graduate Award finalists are:
- Alister Halbert, junior sous chef, the View, Hencote, Shropshire
- Beth Disley-Jones, pastry chef de partie, the Art School restaurant, Liverpool
- Natasha Stinchcombe, baker, Lockdown Loaves, Bristol
The Graduate Awards were founded in 2002 and are aimed at chefs aged under 25 who have completed their basic culinary qualifications and want to push their skills further.
For the first time, the final exam will include mentorship by former award winner and Chucs head chef Connor Godfrey, who will be on hand to answer questions and support the chefs throughout the experience.
Steve Munkley, founder of the Graduate Awards, said: "It felt fantastic to be back in the kitchen last week and experience the atmosphere with these young chefs who were determined to achieve their final exam spot. While we are still having to adapt and tweak these awards slightly due to the restrictions and uncertainty of what lies ahead for our industry, we always remain determined to ensure the chefs have an opportunity to put themselves into the spotlight and test their skills."