Skip to main content

Craft Guild celebrates seven young graduates

The Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed the seven young chefs who passed its 2019 Graduate Awards, following an exam at Westminster Kingsway College (29 August). 

Regarded as ‘one of the hardest skills tests in the industry’, a total of 15 chefs undertook the final kitchen or pastry exams - after completing an online entry form and regional heats.

To join the Graduate Awards hall of fame, the chefs had to achieve a pass mark of 85%.

This year’s kitchen graduates are:

  • Ieuan Davies, The Manor House Hotel
  • Joshua Rooney, Petrus
  • Ashleigh Hellowell, The Royal Garden Hotel
  • Angelica Kainth, Fenchurch Restaurant

Meanwhile in the pastry test, successful chefs include:

  • Thomas Bayliss, La Gavoche
  • Charlotte Bonham, The Pig
  • Kate Mudge, Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa

The judges unanimously awarded Ieuan Davies the ‘highest achiever’ in the kitchen category. At the 2018 awards he also won the ‘highest achiever’ in the pastry category making him the first person to win both awards. Kate Mudge was awarded the ‘highest achiever’ award in the pastry category. 

 

The Graduate Awards are open to kitchen and pastry chefs, aged 23 and under. Taking part in these annual awards provides the opportunity for young chefs, who are now in the workplace, to develop and test their culinary skills.

Steve Munkley, founder of the Graduate Awards and vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “This year’s exam saw some excellent fish preparation, with the butchery still challenging their skills and the classical starter proving a difficult task for many.

“The mystery basket of ingredients, prepared by Russell Bateman, allowed chefs to show us their own ideas on how best to use the ingredients alongside the lovely saddle of English lamb. The examiners tasted a wide range of dishes with some outstanding cooking on show.

“We saw a huge improvement in desserts across the board with Andrew Ditchfield even commenting that a couple of them were as good as he could have made them. Well done to all the finalists, some of whom were working in a small space. It isn’t easy in a different kitchen environment, but many turned out some stunning work.”

The Craft Guild of Chefs organised two mentoring days, in the Cotswolds, to ‘coach and prepare’ the students for their final exam. It included a tour of Daylesford Farm, Shipton Mill, Upton Smokery, gin tasting at Cotswolds Distillery and delicious food from start to finish, as well as a number of masterclasses from industry experts.

Will Torrent, chair of examiners, added: “When I set this year’s brief, I wanted the finalists to show us their creativity as well as classic skills and they rose to the challenge. We saw some fantastic working practises with so much focus in the kitchen throughout the five hours.

“The Graduate Awards showcase the best of young talent and what I love about them is how we take chefs on a journey. There is always a change in the chefs from the semi-final to the mentor day and then the final, and to see their creativity in this exam was really exciting for me as head examiner.”

At the presentation night an award was also presented to a mentor who has supported a young chef throughout the process. This year that went to James Key from Barnsley College who helped finalist, Rhys Inman.

The Graduate Awards are sponsored by The London Meat Co, Oranka, Savoy Education Trust, Reynolds, Quorn, Meiko UK, Essential Cuisine, City and Guilds, Robert Welch, Villeroy and Boch, CCS, Mars Foods, James Knight of Mayfair, Cobra Beer and Pan Artisan.

Chefs can register their interest for the 2020 Graduate Awards by emailing enquiries@craftguildofchefs.org.  

Latest Graduate Awards News

16th Sep 2019

Craft Guild celebrates seven young graduates

By: Edward Waddell
Regarded as ‘one of the hardest skills tests in the industry’, a total of 15 chefs undertook the final kitchen or pastry exams - after completing an online entry form and regional heats. To join the

03rd Sep 2018

Craft Guild celebrates six young Graduates

By: Katie Imms
Regarded as one of the hardest skills tests in the industry, a total 14 chefs undertook the final kitchen or pastry exams - after completing an online entry form and regional heats. To join the

More Graduate Awards News

30th May 2018
Of the 60 entrants, 24 were invited to cook in the London or Sheffield heat last week (23 May), and all currently work in...
11th May 2018
Open to chefs aged 23 and under, the Kitchen and Pastry Graduate examinations were founded by Craft Guild Vice-President,...
29th Mar 2018
Created to “provide formal recognition of young chefs’s culinary excellence,” the Graduate Awards are open to chefs under the...
24th Jan 2018
Founded by executive chef at The Royal Garden Hotel, Steve Munkley in 2002, the culinary awards look for young chefs (aged 23...
12th Jan 2018
After undergoing a series of tests in the full day graduate examinations held at University College Birmingham, five chefs...
26th May 2017
The heats will take place on Thursday 15th June at the University of West London and Sheffield College. During this stage,...
27th Jan 2014
Successful candidates will have to pass a number of culinary challenges in a high-pressured environment. Those that reach the...
17th Sep 2013
As well as Bingham, four other chefs graduated. These were Luke Selby also from Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Claire Willett...
17th Sep 2013
As well as Bingham, four other chefs graduated. These were Luke Selby also from Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Claire Willett...
01st Jul 2013
As testament to celebrated chef Raymond Blanc, two of the chefs making the final are Luke Selby and Josh Bingham who both...