The Ultimate Culinary Challenge
As the UK’s most prestigious and respected culinary contest The National Chef of the Year competition shines a spotlight on the fresh talent coming out of the kitchen. Since it launched in 1972, previous winners like Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams and Mark Sargeant have seen how it helps fast-track careers to put winners firmly on the map, and on the path to Michelin stars. But this isn’t about style over substance: only the best, most innovative and creative chefs get a shot at the title – and an award that opens doors to future success.
Winning this competition is all about the chefs’ individual performances on the day in front of a panel of respected judges. It is not based on their personality or past triumphs but on culinary skills and interpretation of the ingredients they demonstrate when the heat is on!
Open to all chefs over the age of 24 as of April 1st 2017, from across all sectors of the industry. Entrants are required to devise an innovative menu for two people.
Competitors are required to produce a creative lunch menu for two guests within 2 hours.
The menu must consist of:
- Starter: A vegetarian dish using seasonal vegetables and ingredients to competitor’s choice.
- Note: Dairy and eggs are permitted.
- Main Course: Duck with Cherries. Using a whole duck, utilising the leg, breast and carcase, garnished simply to enhance the main ingredients.
- Note: Duck should be sourced from the UK. Competitors to indicate breed of duck and farm sourced from.
- Dessert: A seasonal classic tart fully garnished and served to the competitor’s choice.
- Note: Skills test will focus on quality of pastry and baking, cooking of custards and fillings, seasonal fruits and ingredients used.
Promoted through national and regional press, adverts in all trade related publications, social media, online banners, email blasts, a telemarketing campaign, promotional leaflets distributed through industry events and exhibitions as well as personalised invitations sent to over 500 of the UKs leading restaurants.
A judging panel of over 40 respected chefs within the industry are selected for all elements of the competition from paper judging to semi finals and the final.
Expert judges receive the entry forms and convene to make their selection ensuring all entries go through a rigorous process prior to being excepted as semi finalists.
Announcement of Semi Finalists
Announced to the industry through national and regional press, adverts, advertorial as well as an online and social media campaign.
Regional heats hosting 40 semi finalists. Sponsors are invited to meet all semi finalists, the judging team, visiting members of the Guild and media.
No other competition within the UK, at this level, includes such a highly motivational activity aimed at ensuring competitors are fully prepared for the task ahead.
The official launching of the mystery basket gives competitors the opportunity to engage with key competition mentors, judges, sponsors and effectively focus on all aspects of the final - preparing them for the process. All ingredients and products are on display for competitors to handle and ask any relevant questions. Sponsors are given the opportunity to present to all competitors (with the possibility of hosting a specific masterclass, if relevant to the product on the day).
The Restaurant Show – 3rd October 2017
As the industry’s leading trade show, attracting over 10,500 industry buyers, it is fitting that the live final should take place at The Restaurant Show. Visitors will have the opportunity to visit the show, network with fellow colleagues, meet new & existing suppliers as well as experience the excitement of the intense cook-off where the finalists will compete in this highly charged atmosphere for the coveted National Chef of the Year title.
Announcement of the Winners
A prestigious Awards Ceremony to announce the winners, serving canapés and Champagne, will be hosted at the Stage, at The Restaurant Show. Attended by all competitors, sponsors, trade press, ambassador judges and key industry members. The event will be by invitation only to ensure a select and targeted audience.
VIP Awards Celebration
Following the Awards Announcement all finalists, sponsors, media and judges are invited to attend an exclusive VIP celebration at Fortmum & Mason’s in London to mark the new NCOTY & YNCOTY Winners. Mosimann’s, the House of Commons, Quo Vadis, The Square and Harrods Food Hall have all played host in recent years for this prestigious evening.
The Programme Dates
|Launch of NCOTY||Wednesday 1st February 2017|
|Close Off Date for NCOTY Entries||Friday 31st March 2017|
|Paper Judging||Wednesday 17th May 2017|
|Announcement of Semi Finalists||Friday 19th May 2017|
|Semi Finals||Tuesday 6th June - Sheffield College, Sheffield|
|Tuesday 20th June - Le Cordon Bleu, London|
|NCOTY Mentors Day||Tuesday 5th September 2017, The Chefmanship Kitchen, Unilever, Leatherhead|
|NCOTY Final Menus||Friday 15th September 2017|
|The Final||Tuesday 3th October 2017, The Restaurant Show, London|
|Awards Ceremony||Tuesday 3th October 2017, The Restaurant Show, London|
|VIP Celebration Dinner||Tuesday 3th October 2017, Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly, London|