Five young chefs win Craft Guild Graduate Awards

The Craft Guild of Chefs has handed out prizes to five young chefs who have made the grade at its annual Graduate Awards.
Needing to score an average of 85 per cent or higher in the final examination, the winning chefs were revealed at a ceremony held last week at the Landmark London Hotel in Marylebone.
Taking top spot was James Newton from the Royal Garden Hotel, who scored 87.5 per cent, with Connor Godfrey from Wiltons Restaurant close behind. Also passing were Ruth Hansom from The Ritz in London, Wayne Herrington from the Landmark London Hotel, and Victoria Scupham from The Royal Household.
To get the honour, the chefs had to compete at a final held at University College Birmingham, where they faced challenges that were designed to test the skills they had learnt at college and in their various chefs jobs.
The final included butchery and fishmongery challenges and a mystery basket test, as well as being asked to prepare a classic main dish and dessert to impress the judges.
The Craft Guild’s Vice President Steve Munkley, who created the exams 12 years ago, said: “What makes this competition special is that all of the finalists are able to pass the examination so they all support each other throughout the process and want each other to do well. Some of the chefs put many hours of practice in between the mentor day and final and their hard work and dedication has paid off.”
Many of the successful chefs from the Graduate Awards could go on to secure chefs jobs in the future, potentially at the likes of the new Barbecoa St James, which is due to launch next year in London.
Run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the new restaurant is set to be based at 194-196 Piccadilly in Prince’s House, with room for more than 300 diners across its two floors.
By Owen Mckeon
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