What is the Award?
The William Heptinstall Award is made each year to enable a young person to widen his or her culinary experience whilst travelling outside the UK. Following a most generous donation from the family of F John Avery MW, in memory of his unwavering commitment to the Award and to wine appreciation and knowledge, the Trustee Directors were pleased to increase the value of the Award to £4,000 from 2018.
The Award is designed to allow the recipient fully to experience the cuisine of the area to be visited, while undertaking an overseas stage or stages that had already been contemplated, with this increase granted to allow a specific focus on wine.
Who is eligible to apply?
Young persons who are establishing a career in the catering industry and are normally resident in the United Kingdom are encouraged to apply. Only previous winners are not eligible to re-apply.
Preference is usually given to applicants between 20 and 28, but applications from candidates outside this age range will also be considered. For the 2022 and 2023 Awards the upper age limit has been increased to those under the age of 30, so that older applicants are helped to avoid the loss of opportunity brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
How is the winner selected?
Applicants should complete and return the Application Form, together with a short piece on how they would spend the award money if they won. As explained on the Form, a brief reference from their employer or tutor is also required.
Candidates will be short-listed on the basis of their Application Form and the other material submitted.
The Trustee Directors will invite short-listed candidates for interview in London on a date usually during May - this will not involve a test of practical skills. Following the interviews these candidates will be guests of the Directors for lunch at a top London restaurant.
How may Restaurant and Catering College Management help?
Restaurant Management, Heads of Catering Colleges and Culinary Schools are encouraged to support their young chefs in applying for this Award. They may do this by completing their section of the Application Form, and by allowing time off to attend the interview. The list of Previous Winners clearly shows the high standards of the sponsoring establishments and the positive influence of this Award on chef employment prospects