After being the ‘Highest Achiever’ at last year’s Craft Guild of Chefs Pastry Graduate Award, Ieuan Davies from The Manor House Hotel is the first ever chef to do the double as he’s taken the top spot in this year’s Kitchen exam. The results were unveiled in front of over 150 guests at an awards presentation held at The Landmark, London on Friday, 6th September 2019.
Seven chefs passed the Graduate Award this year with Joshua Rooney from Petrus, Ashleigh Hellowell at The Royal Garden Hotel and Angelica Kainth from Fenchurch Restaurant all achieving the Kitchen Award, alongside Ieuan. Kate Mudge from Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa, Thomas Bayliss who works at Le Gavroche and Charlotte Bonham from The Pig made the grade in the Pastry Award. The Highest Achiever Award in Pastry was presented to Kate Mudge.
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.
Chefs were also marked on their work processes including health and safety and wastage.
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.”
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 Inmon.
For 2019, all the chefs competing in both the kitchen and pastry award were treated to an inspiring two-day mentor experience in the Cotswolds. 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.