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25th April 2022

Craft Guild reveals Graduate Awards deadline extension & mentoring trip

Written by: Edward Waddell
Young chefs are being given the opportunity to join a career-defining study trip as part of the Graduate Awards 2022, which has extended its entry deadline to Friday 6 May 2022.

After this element of the award was put on hold due to the pandemic, the Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed it is bringing it back for this year’s 20th anniversary celebrations. All the chefs who make the final in both the Kitchen and Pastry Award will be invited to join executive chef from the House of Commons Mark Hill, on a culinary tour and overnight stay in Surrey.

Chefs aged under 25 have until Friday 6th May to enter the Graduate Awards by completing a short online form via the Craft Guild of Chefs website. Semi-finals will take place in Sheffield and London in June with a final exam in September.

The Graduate Awards offer chefs the chance to improve their culinary skills, build confidence, network with industry peers and the opportunity to put themselves into the national spotlight. Achievers have gone on to win competitions such as Young National Chef of the Year, secure exciting promotions and gain Michelin stars.

The tour will leave London on 19th July and head to Trenchmore Wagyu Beef Farm in Horsham. Chefs will enjoy a two-hour farm and factory tour and tasting of Silly Moo Cider followed by lunch.

Etherley Poultry Farm will be the next port of call before heading to De Vere Horsley Estate where the chefs will be staying. During the afternoon, the Kitchen Award finalists will watch butchery, fishmongery and dessert demonstrations whilst the Pastry Award candidates head to the kitchens at Unilever HQ in Leatherhead for their masterclasses.

In the evening, the groups will come together for a BBQ at The Barn, and this will include a series of demos and talks from industry suppliers. This includes Big Smoke Brew Co. Craft Brewery, Esher, Raw Honey Gin Distillery, Simon Taylor from Surrey Hills Butchers & Captain of Team GB Butchery, Reynolds Catering Supplies, Chalk Stream Foods, and Growing Underground.

Day two of the trip will see the chefs explore more venues including Albury Vineyard, Norbury Blue Cheesemakers and Dorking Gin Kitchen before returning to London full of food, drink, knowledge, and inspiration.

Steve Munkley, vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and founder of the Graduate Awards, said: “This will be the 20th anniversary of the Graduate Awards and so it’s fantastic to be able to hold this mentoring trip once again. It’s always a real highlight for us as organisers to see the young chefs being inspired by local produce as well as being so keen to learn from suppliers and our Graduate Award committee.

“The young talent will have fun connecting with other finalists and many times we’ve seen groups of chefs use this opportunity to connect and support one another right to the final and beyond. Many of our former achievers still talk about the impact the Graduate Awards have had on their career and so I’m appealing to chefs right across the industry to help us spread the word and encourage others to enter.”