16 finalists announced for Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards 2016

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

16 finalists announced for Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards 2016

Related tags: Belmond le manoir, Chef

The Craft Guild of Chefs has announced the 16 young chef finalists for the 2016 Graduate Awards, following the heats in the Pastry and Kitchen rounds.

The heats, held at the University of West London and University College Birmingham, were judged by a panel of experts, including chair of examiners and former National Chef of the Year Russell Bateman. This is the first year that the Pastry examination has existed, as a means to combat the current skills shortage in this area.

The finals will now take place on 30 August. All chefs who achieve a score of 85% and over in the final exam will then be invited to an awards presentation evening at the Park Lane hotel on 6 September.

The chefs hail from establishments such as The Ledbury, The Bingham, The Ritz, Galvin La Chappelle, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, and The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

In the meantime, the finalists will be invited to a mentor day, including masterclasses and tests on skills such as butchery and fishmongery, a challenge using mystery basket ingredients, plus the creation of a main course and dessert, and pastry challenges for the four pastry finalists.

Founder and organiser of the awards, Steve Munkley, executive head chef at the Royal Garden Hotel, said: “I’ve been doing this for many years and the quality of establishments that the candidates have come from is amazing. It’s possibly the best line up we have ever had with the first round scoring being very high. We’ll be doing everything we can to help them achieve this.”


Bateman added: “It was also fantastic to see a diversity of culinary backgrounds and experience with chefs from contract catering, hotels, restaurants and even a college student. I was extremely happy with the standard of cooking and only see bright futures for all involved."

The Graduate Awards are open to professional chefs aged 23 and under. 


Kitchen Award

Ben Brooke, Galvin La Chapelle

Erin Jackson Yates, Wiltons

Jake Leach, The Ledbury

Eleanor De Maria, Compass House

Keiron McGarrigle, Westminster Kingsway College

Andre Rhone, The Bingham

Amber Francis, The Ritz

Louise Ellen Roberts, Lexington

Joseph Allen, The Woodford

Lewis Kuciers, Black Bull

Aaron Middleton, Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons

Dudley Pankhurst, Cunninghams Bistro

Pastry Award

Rita Souto, Park Lane Hotel

Fiona Bailey, The Dragon

Elizabeth McBride, Hix Soho

Kacey Bignell, The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant, Chef

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