Why did you decide to enter the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards?
I decided to enter the Graduate Awards after my mentor Barry Smyth had sent me an email with the criteria and decided that this was a great competition. I love to compete outside of Northern Ireland and see what other chefs are up to across the water.
What support did you have from your employer?
My employer has always been supportive of any competitions that I do which is always great for myself and the business.
How did you feel when you found out you had made the Graduate Awards final?
Making the final was Great! It was a nervous 12 days or so waiting for the results.. the semi finals were very tough and a high standard, to know my cooking and skills is worthy of a place in the finals is massive.
What have you been doing since the semi-final to prepare for the final exam?
Since the semi finals its been all go! I received the feedback and worked on areas I may have under performed in. Since we received the Spec for the finals its been practice practice practice.. Craft Guild also put on a brilliant 2 day masterclass in London based on skills and tests we will encounter on finals day, it was such a joy to take part in these days and so much was learned from my trip to London which will be great come finals day!
Which part of the final exam are you most looking forward to?
The final exam has a classical knowledge test, butchery and fish tasks, classical cookery test, mystery basket test and a pastry test! The best part about the graduate awards finals is, Its a exam and not a competition and thats what I love about it. Youre really competiting against yourself to produce the best score possible.
What would being a Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate mean to you and for your future career?
To achieve the 85% mark would be fantastic! It will give me a massive boost for my career and really raise my profile. I look forward to working hard and pushing on as a chef in a amazing industry and hopefully the graduate awards can help me in the process!