The Craft Guild of Chefs has named the 36 candidates who will take part in the semi-finals of the 2023 Graduate Awards.

The practical and theory exam is aimed at chefs under the age of 25 who are looking to test their skills and connect with their peers.

Semi-finals will take place on 20 June at West Hertfordshire College in Watford and on 22 June at Sheffield College.

Those who make the grade will go through to the final at the University of West London on 1 September and will all be invited on the Guild’s annual mentoring trip, which this year will be a culinary tour of Suffolk.

Taking part in the Watford heat will be:

• Darragh Ryan, 36 On The Quay Restaurant with Rooms

• Harvey Barker, The Botanical Rooms at The Newt in Somerset

• Elliot Wakefield, Savoy Grill

• Sam Reynolds, The Fat Duck

• Liam Balmer, Lucknam Park Hotel

• Luke Morton, The Tudor Pass, Great Fosters Hotel

• Alessio Sneider, Soho House, 76 Dean Street

• Zach Colburn, House of Commons

• Nathan Cooper, Goldman Sachs, BaxterStorey

• Matthew Mark Crane, Royal Air Force Club

• Jack Baldwin, The Angel Inn at Topcliffe

• Perran Clark, New Coast Kitchen

Allocated a place in the Sheffield heat are:

• Brandon William Stokoe, Jesmond Dene House

• Angus Paul Levell, The Caddy Mann Restaurant

• Michael Jones, Fletchers Grantley Hall

• Megan Beale, Dumbleton Hall

• Daniel James Cox, Morston Hall Hotel

• Connor Gray, Talbot Hotel in Malton

• Jamaar Semper, Lucknam Park Hotel

• Chloe Williamson, Prestwold Hall

• Ivan Barzev, Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa

• Jack Newbold, No. 23 Uppingham Restaurant

• Georgia Hackett, City of Liverpool College

• Jason Cargill, The Rookery Restaurant & Bar

The pastry semi-finalists who will sit the exam in Watford include:

• Paige Hill, Pentonbridge Inn

• Owen Morgan Roberts, Rabbit

• Blessing Olusile, Pillars Restaurant

• Stephanie Grace Belcher, Coast in Saundersfoot

• Charlotte Vicars, One Aldwych Hotel

• Hoi Yan Tam, Sofitel London St James

• Marija Kuzaite, Ardtara Country House

• Luke Watkins, Auberge du Lac

• Jack Kirby, Lygon Arms Hotel

• Mackenzie Pope, Lucknam Park Hotel

• Yip Man Ying, Shangri-La

• Tara Pasotti, Pennyhill Park Hotel

The award scheme was founded in 2002 by the Craft Guild’s vice president Steve Munkley and includes a kitchen and larder exam, as well as a pastry award led by chef Will Torrent.

Munkley said: “it has been inspiring to see so much interest in the Graduate Awards this year so thank you to everyone who entered.

“To help the chefs going through to the next stage, we are sharing videos that will help them to practise and be as prepared as possible for the semi-finals as we realise for some of them this will be their first taste of a culinary test like this.

“I recommend they all work with their senior chefs, take advice and use this opportunity to its full potential as it’s known to open many doors that will help their future careers.”

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the UK’s largest chef’s association, with members working globally across foodservice and hospitality.

Pictured: the 2022 Graduate Achievers


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