2018 Finalists ANNOUNCED


2 entrants have beaten off some very stiff competition to go through to the 2018 Chef Stagiaire Final at The Hand & Flowers 2 Michelin restaurant in Marlow, Bucks with Chef Patron Tom Kerridge and Head Chef Aaron Mulliss.

In no particular order, our 2018 Chef Stagiaire Finalists are…:


Christopher Davis completed his Semi Final stage at Angler, London

currently working at Restaurant Story, London


Enrique Javier Diez completed his Semi Final stage at Elystan Street, London

currently working at The Frog, London


Congratulations to both of them, fantastic work. We wish them all the best for the Final!


The Final will be held between 27th September and 1st October 2018, after which Tom Kerridge, Aaron Mulliss, as well as our team of Judges, will score and mark the final results and we will announce the overall Winner!


The Winner of Chef Stagiaire Award 2018 will win an all expenses paid international working holiday which includes 4 weeks at renowned 3 Michelin star restaurant Benu in San Francisco, under the guidance of pioneering Chef Patron, Corey Lee, then onto a further 2 incredible weeks at the opulent 6 star Six Senses Zil Pasyon resort in the Seychelles, for a period of cooking and relaxation in one of their breath-taking luxury Villas.

Catch up with all the latest here www.chefstagiaire.com


A massive thank you to everyone below, everyone who entered the competition, every Head Chef who mentored an entrant through the application process, every kitchen, all of the Judges, every Head Chef, Sous Chef, Chef de Partie, Commis Chef and team member front and back of house, that supported Chef Stagiaire 2018. Its been an absolute pleasure so far…


Completed Semi Finals:


Jamacia Ellaway completed her stage at Adam’s Restaurant, Birmingham

currently working at Park Regis, Birmingham


Simona Macugova completed her stage at Alyn Williams at The Westbury, London

currently working at Baxter Storey, London


Oscar Dimaline completed his stage at Casamia, Bristol

currently at The Muddy Duck


Leon Carter completed his stage at Purnell’s, Birmingham

currently working at Adare Manor, Ireland


Steven Stewart completed his stage at Hampton Manor, Hampton in Arden

currently working at Ballathie House Hotel, Scotland


Emily Orton completed her stage at Restaurant Story, London

currently working at Lexington Food, London


Ladislav Florean completed his stage at The Clove Club, London

currently working as a Freelance Chef


Daniel Delaney completed his stage at Ynyshir Restaurant with Rooms, Powys, Wales

currently working at Adare Manor, Ireland


The Chef Stagiaire 2018 team of Judges:

James Mackenzie, Head Chef and Proprietor of The Pipe & Glass [1 Michelin Star]

Luke Tipping, Chef Director at Simpsons, Birmingham (1 Michelin Star)

Tim Blake, Regional Executive Chef working for Restaurant Associates at Google, London





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Oliver Dovey – Finalist Prize Diary – Part #2 – Les Sources de Caudalie


Chef Stagiaire Award 2017 – Diary of my trip to Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux

Day 1

caviarToday was my first day in the 2 Michelin star kitchen! I have to say I was a bit daunted, but from what I saw last week I thought I could hold my own in there. I was put on the garnish section with Lawrence. I helped him with general preparation including their vegetarian tart which consisted of thinly sliced courgette and tomato arranged in a flower fashion. It was a time consuming process but a really beautiful look on the final dish. The service was very hard, even though they did not have a high number of customers, it was still a new menu to me, and again obviously, everyone was speaking French, but I was getting better at understanding and translating everything into my tasks.

Day 2

Today I was working on the garnish section again. The chef started to develop a new dish for the menu which included a duxelle made entirely from Cep mushrooms. Being from England I have not seen thistartar many Ceps in one place as they are so expensive!! I made a ravioli with this duxelle, with a lovely Chicken jus inside so when it was cut open the liquid oozed out. The service was a lot better today as I managed to link a lot of words with words that I learnt while I was working in Greece. A lot of the names of the courses were very similar in Greek as in French so as soon as I picked that up I found the service a lot easier and smoother.

Day 3

Today I work on the larder section, preparing Lobsters and making their green Tomato granite. I also prepared a few Crabs and the Canapes. I helped prepare the stuffed Courgette flowers which were filled with a Langoustine mousse which was deliciously smooth. During the service I was working on the Canape section, serving Oysters with a cucumber foam and Oyster leaf, a brown cap mushroom filled with Ceps and covered in a Parmesan crust which was then lightly grilled. The second round of Canapes that the guests enjoyed was a Beef tartar which was smoked and sent to the table in a glass dome for theatrical effect, which really worked.

Day 4

Larder again today. I felt a lot more confidence now. I was doing similar preparation as the day before.ARTICHOKES Today I also helped prepare their angry egg dish which was a soft boiled duck egg which was then pannéd using thinly cut filo pastry so when it was fried it came up and gave an amazing visual aspect. I also stuffing their baby Artichokes which was another Canape. It was a very time consuming job because turning and cooking the artichokes took a while. Then the centre had to be scooped out, filled with crushed artichokes and then pannéd using green bread crumbs [speak to a chef about how to make green bread crumbs!!]. During service I was moving between the garnish section and the Canapes, helping cook the egg and artichoke dish.

Day 5

Today a new dish came onto the menu which included Venison and the Cep pasta. I helped make the Ravioli for the lunch and dinner service. I was doing general jobs for all sections today. I made some more tarts, prepared the Leeks for the Turbot dish, sources de caudalieI prepared a lot of shellfish. During the service I was helping every section, moving everywhere. It felt so smooth and I could feel a massive improvement in myself firstly for understanding the language and also for reading the situation and knowing which dishes were up next on the list of priorities. I was very sad to leave because I thoroughly enjoyed my whole experience here. It is a memory that I will genuinely cherish. I was invited to go back and work whenever I want which I have every intention to take up whenever possible.

It was an amazing learning experience, I loved the creativity and overall the kitchens here are a perfect working environment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all at Les Sources de Caudalie.

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Oliver Dovey – Diary of Final 2017 at Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Oliver Dovey

2017 Final Diary at Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Day 1

Today was a challenging day as it was the first day at Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms. I had to learn the layout of the kitchen, the people and all of the menu, off by heart, as fast as possible. I worked in the preparation kitchen for most of the day but my highlight was moving over to work in the Nucleus restaurant. There was just Leon (Jr Sous Chef) and myself cooking and plating the dishes for the customers. It was a very interactive restaurant because as we were cooking the customers were asking us questions about the dishes and our experience too. I could see how the customers reacted to each dish and hear the excitement in their voices while they spoke about them. It was the best place for me to start as it gave me time to learn the whole menu in depth, from the preparation to cooking and then plating.

Day 2

Today was amazing, I spent most of the time in the hot kitchen doing preparation in the morning and in the evening I was working with the larder, plating all of their dishes, mainly the Chicken Meusli, Potatoes roasted in the wood fire oven and the Veal Sweetbreads. My favourite dish was definitely the Chicken Meusli as it was an amazing balance between sweet, sour, hot and warm.

Wood Fired Oven

Wood Fired Oven

Day 3

Today I spent the morning in Pastry, I made the milk Crisp for their Milk dessert. I also made their Chocolate Marquis dessert, from start to finish. They had a lot of trust in me and let me do a great deal during preparation. They gave me everything to taste but their truly exceptional dish was their conclusion of Green Thai Curry and Candy floss. It was absolute perfection in the balance of all 5 tastes. In the evening I was in the hot kitchen as it was very busy. I was plating their Beef Tartar dish as well as the others from yesterday. They also had a new dish for their chefs table, which is amazing watching how new dishes come about in Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms.

Day 4

Today was by far the best day! I spent all day moving between each section doing jobs that I picked up during the week but with more speed and skill. When it came to the cook off, I was not sure of the result, it was very nerve wracking to show Sat and John your own style of cooking, there was a lot more pressure than I thought I was going to feel but overall I am happy with my final dish.

Olivers Final presentation of his original entry dish

Olivers Final presentation of his original entry dish

John said the dish was lovely and the Duck was cooked on point which I was very relieved at as I thought it was slightly over cooked 🙂

In the evening I was helping pastry at the beginning. I was helping plate Sat Bains well known Duck Egg dish. It was incredible to see the effort.

Then after I moved over to work in the Nucleus again as they had a very busy service in there. the customers were very friendly and chatty towards myself and Leon (Sous Chef). They were absolutely blown away by the conclusion that I ate yesterday. It was a great pleasure to watch the customers fall in love with the food and knowing the hours and hard work it was really worth it!!!! It was a slightly sad ending as I really did not want to leave. They welcomed me as a family member and it truly touched my heart how nice everyone was towards me. I want to thank the whole team for the experience they have given me this week.

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Final Day – Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms

Its all over! Harvey and Oliver have cooked their respective dishes and it seems they were both well satisfied with the results. Lots of positive feedback from 2 Michelin star holder Sat Bains, Head Chef John Freeman and the team at Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms. ‘It’ll probably go down as one of the most nerve-wracking moments in my career’ they both agreed, but they stepped up, fought the pressure and completed their dishes with perfection and professionalism. There is very little to tell the guys apart, but now we await the final judgement from Sat Bains and John Freeman to see which one of them is off on the culinary adventure of a lifetime to Les Sources de Caudalie in France [2 Michelin also] and Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles!

Oliver was working across all the section on the final day, but finished up in the Nucleus, with Sous Chef Leon, where he was able to get the customers feedback on the dish they had been working on. This was hugely satisfying to see the results of all of that hard work and effort the previous day. In his opinion he was able to work with more speed and skill having learnt the different elements throughout the week, so both Finalists felt they were able to genuinely support the team for this incredibly busy Saturday service.

Harvey was back in the main kitchen and continued to soak up everything he saw, heard and learnt. Harvey said he will  cherish these memories for the rest of his career and he hopes he can utilise some of the techniques and methods hes picked up when he gets back to Hampton Manor next week.

Please give us a few days to go through the results with the team at Restaurant Sat Bains, then we will announce the overall Winner!

At this point all of us at Chef Stagiaire would like to give an absolutely massive thanks to every single person who supported Chef Stagiaire 2017; all the entrants, all the Chef Patrons, Chef Proprietors, Head Chefs, Sous Chefs, CDP’s, Demi’s, Conmmis’, KP’s and all of the Front of House staff that welcomed our Finalists at every stage of the competition. Without all of you supporting and giving your time and opinion this simply would not be possible. THANK YOU!

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