Craft Guild of Chefs reveal semi-finalists for Kitchen and Pastry Graduate awards

This year celebrates 15 years of the Graduate Awards. Heats will take place on Thursday 15 June at the University of West London and Sheffield College, UK

A record-breaking 36 chefs will be heading to the UK Graduate Awards Kitchen and Pastry semi-finals in June. The heats will take place on Thursday 15 June at the University of West London and Sheffield College. During this stage, candidates will have to demonstrate their culinary skills in front of the Graduate examiners, led by former National Chef of the Year, Russell Bateman.

This year celebrates 15 years of the Graduate Awards, which were founded by vice-president, Steve Munkley in 2002, having seen a real need in the industry for providing formal recognition of young chefs’ culinary excellence. The Kitchen and Pastry Graduate examination is an Award for chefs aged 23 and under, to test and improve the skills which they have learnt at college and in their early careers, and take them to the next level. It has been known to accelerate a chef’s career with many previous Graduates going on to win national competitions and work in top restaurants around the world.

The final exam takes place at University College Birmingham on the 22 August, with an anniversary lunch taking place at the Royal Garden Hotel on 11 September 2017.

High-quality entries

Talking about this year’s award, Steve Munkley, executive head chef at the Royal Garden Hotel, said: “We moved the entry process online as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for chefs to be part of the event. Not only did we increase the number of entries but the establishments that chefs work at are some of the best in the UK. There were many high-quality entries which made it difficult to whittle the chefs down to just two heats but I’m confident we’re going to see some great chefs coming through with that certificate this year.”

Yolande Stanley, chair of pastry examiners, added: “This is only the second year of the Pastry Graduate Award and I’m delighted that we doubled the number of entries this year. It recognises the importance of putting pastry in the spotlight and gives these young chefs a platform to not only develop their skills but also get their names out into the wider industry. I’m looking forward to seeing how the chefs perform when we get them into the kitchen next month.”

University of West London:

Robert Charlesworth, Grove Hotel Stables Restaurant

Ioannis Mexis, Elystan Street

Bronwen Jenkins, The Royal Garden Hotel

Dominic Williamson, Restaurant 56

Vitor Cardosoestrades, Gather and Gather

Daryl Fardon, Colletes

Jessica Deakin, The Compass Group

Joe Payne, Andre Garrett Restaurant Cliveden House

Rory Seaman, Wiltons

Gilles Varone, Petrus Restaurant

Kristina, The Bingham Hotel

Raymond Steplin, House of Commons

Jordon Powell, Alyn Williams at the Westbury

Jake Pole, South Sands Hotel



Alan Howard, Dobson and Parnell

Jordan Clark, Oban Manor House

Rory Flood, The Swan

Alexander Knowles, Hope and Anchor

Sian Dixon, Browns Lane

Chor Fai Shek, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Andrew Evans, Leasowe Castle

Vince Vermeulen, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

William Keeble, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Michael Morrey, The Cradock Arms

Edward William Hardy Carroll, The Compass Group

Adam Phillips, Colette’s at The Grove Hotel

Lewis Kuciers  , The Black Bull, Blidworth

Pastry University of West London:

Sophia Sotiriou, Hotel Cafe Royal

Amy Rose Plumb, Titchfield Manor Hotel

Danielle Washington, Lords Cricket Ground

Megan Roberts, Harvey Nichols Birmingham

Louis Hall, Corinthia Hotel London

Leandra Molina Beato, Simpsons Restaurant

Lorenzo Fleurie, London Hilton on Park Lane

Zaneta Krol, Haworths Restaurant at Regency Hotel

Hannah Catley, Chiltern Firehouse



You can follow all the action from the next stage by following @Craft_Guild on Twitter and the hashtag #CGCGradAwards.

Craft Guild of Chefs

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs’ association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.