Due to large amounts of the hospitality industry still being closed, the Craft Guild of Chefs has extended its deadline for the Graduate Awards 2021. This is to give senior chefs the opportunity to encourage young team members to enter as they prepare to return to work. Founder of the Graduate Awards, Steve Munkley, has recorded a passionate video appeal to head and executive chefs across the UK to help keep young talent engaged and focused on their career development. The 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. Graduate Awards achievers have gone on to win competitions such as Young National Chef of the Year, secure exciting promotions, and gain Michelin stars.
Chefs aged under 25 now have until Friday 14th May to enter the educational award. There are two categories, the Kitchen and Pastry exam, and these will be examined by Russell Bateman and Will Torrent along with a panel of industry experts. Throughout the process chefs will receive support and mentoring from the Graduate Awards committee, as well as from mentors within their own workplaces.
To enter the Graduate Awards, chefs simply need to complete a short online entry form. Semi-finals are scheduled to take place in June with a final exam in September.
Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Steve Munkley said: “I genuinely believe the Graduate Awards are needed more than ever this year. With many chefs having had so much time out of kitchens, we need to do everything we can to keep ambitious and talented young chefs engaged and help them to re-discover their pre-pandemic confidence. This process gives chefs expertise and mentorship to help them learn and progress the skills they learnt at college, or on an apprenticeship, and take them to the next level. I understand how uncertain the last year has been for young people and that hospitality has been hit the hardest; many chefs have found their confidence has taken a knock. It’s time for the industry to fight back and invest in our talent so hospitality comes back stronger.”