The Chefs’ Graduate competition comprises a paper entry round, heats, and then a final examination. This is a one-day test including a theory paper, tasks testing butchery and fishmongery, and a ‘mystery basket’ round in which chefs must create a classic main course and dessert to be judged by the examiners.
Judges will consider skills, talent, and creative flair.
The second Pastry Graduate Award is also open, and will put pastry chefs’ skills to an equivalent test.
Entrants have until 8 May 2017 to submit their paper entries, via a form on the Craft Guild of Chefs’ website.
Chefs must achieve a pass mark of 85 per cent or higher to achieve the Graduate Award, and one chef will receive the Highest Achiever Award.
Judges will include some of the UK’s leading chefs, including former National Chef of the Year, head chef at Colette's at The Grove and chair of examiners Russell Bateman, and awards founder and executive head chef of the Royal Garden Hotel, Steve Munkley.
The awards are intended to encourage chefs to focus on their developing skills, and help them develop their careers further.
Each award winner will then have chance to compete in the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) contest, and will join the 53 chefs already in the Graduate Awards ‘hall of fame’.
All finalists will work with a mentor throughout the process, and will have chance to attend a Mentor Day enabling them to learn from examiners and other industry experts. They will also receive feedback on their skills and advice on how to improve.
“When I created these awards I wanted to provide an opportunity for young chefs to be pushed into the spotlight,” says Munkley. “There is so much talent out there and these awards help us find those chefs. I am really proud that the Graduate Awards is celebrating its 15th birthday this year and we’re looking forward to discovering who will be the next chefs to join the ‘hall of fame’.”
“As a head chef, I look out for young chefs who have the drive and determination needed to pass the Graduate Awards,” says Bateman. “I’ve witnessed some amazing talent come through these awards and go on to win national competitions, land fantastic jobs and even work around the world. I’d say to all head chefs to encourage your young chefs to enter as it will only add to your business.”