Due to an unprecedented increase in enquiries around its Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) competition, the Craft Guild of chefs has extended its deadline for applicants.

Whilst this incredible competition opportunity does entice chefs to get involved, the Graduate Awards bring many other opportunities for young chefs, helping candidates to gain promotions or new job roles as well as grow in confidence professionally and personally.

All Graduate Awards finalists will be taken on a two-day foodie experience in July where they will meet local suppliers, learn more about the tasks for the final with demonstrations from experts and have time to socialise with like-minded chefs. Chefs who have previously achieved the award also describe the connections they make during the process. It allows young chefs the chance to meet others outside their workplace who have similar ambitions and are at the same age and stage of their career.

The Graduate Awards will now remain open until midnight on Friday 10th May. It only takes a few minutes for chefs to enter using a short online form and there are opportunities to get involved with either the Kitchen or Pastry Exam.

Those who make the Kitchen semi-final will have the chance to cook for former National Chef of the Year and chef patron at Launceston Place, Ben Murphy. Executive chef at Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa, Sarah Frankland will be heading up the Pastry Award for the first time.

Steve Munkley, founder of the Graduate Awards and Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “We know from speaking to previous Graduate Awards achievers that the link with Young National Chef of the Year is a huge draw. However, the skills chefs will learn and develop in this exam will help them not only in future competitions but in their day jobs and future careers too. If you take a look at the Graduate Awards stories we have been sharing on our website and social media channels, it highlights that this event really is a fabulous stepping stone for any young chef wanting to excel in their career.”

Chefs can enter online today here.