Sponsored Graduate Awards Semi-Finalists Announced

As sponsor of the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards 2015, McCormick Flavour Solutions is proud to announce that 20 young working chefs and college students have been selected for this year’s semi-finals.

Getting through the paper entry of the awards, designed to really test a chef’s skills and get them noticed in the industry, is no mean feat and semi-finalists will need to give everything they’ve got to impress a judging panel of top chefs at the next stage, a regional cooking test on Friday, June 5th.

Taking place at Sheffield College and University of West London, depending on each chef’s location, the semi-final is the chance to prove they have taken what they learnt in training to the next level.

Those that pass will then be invited to a mentor day, complete with masterclasses with industry greats and gastronomic treats in the capital, to prepare them for the final’s butchery and fishmongery tests, a mystery basket challenge and the creation of a classic main and dessert.

To follow in the footsteps of the likes of Richard Edwards, executive chef at Lords of the Manor - who, this year, earned his first Michelin star - they must score 85% to become a graduate, with Paul Gayler MBE lined up as chairman of examiners for the third year.

Al Thaker, Marketing Manager at McCormick Flavour Solutions, said: “The Graduate Awards give chefs aged 23 and under the chance to test the skills they learnt in college and honed in the workplace and, crucially, they are also a proven way of opening doors in a fiercely competitive industry. We are exceptionally proud to provide our support for such an invaluable initiative and wish each worthy semi-finalist success in the regional heats.”

The 20 chefs going through to the Graduate Awards 2015 semi-finals are:

  • Laurel Taylor, Royal Garden Hotel
  • Nicholas Cottrell, Dolphin House Brazzerie
  • Reece Cosier, The Landmark London
  • Alex Murtagh, The Landmark London
  • Olivia Baggley, Wiltons
  • Andrew Potter, The Dairy
  • Grainne Kerr, Browns Restaurant
  • Liam Argyle, Saunton Sands Hotel
  • Drew Snaith, Brunswick House
  • Louise Roberts, Lexington Catering
  • Miranda Lucien-Johnson, Adam Handling at Caxton
  • Josie Thompson, Westminster Kingsway College
  • Christopher Davis, Westminster Kingsway College
  • Daniel Catalano, The White Horse Pub
  • Andrew Hockley, Queenwood Golf Club
  • Aaron Duffy, Grants Restaurant
  • Charlie Aggett, Hartwell House Hotel
  • James Toth, The Cross at Kenilworth
  • Chloe Fella, Food Academy
  • James Carpenter, Food Academy

For more information, email or call 0208 948 3870. For live updates, follow the Craft Guild of Chefs on Twitter @Craft_Guild #CGCGradAwards.


  • Regional cooking test – 5th June (Sheffield College and University of West London)
  • Mentor day for finalists – w/c 13th July
  • Final exam – 27th August (Birmingham University College)
  • Cocktail presentation evening – 4th September (The Lancaster London)