National Chef of the Year expert entry tips revealed ahead of deadline extension

There is good news this week for any chefs still working on their National Chef of the Year entry form. The Craft Guild of Chefs has extended the entry deadline for National Chef of the Year 2017. Chefs now have until Friday 15th April to visit www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk and submit their entry form online for judging.

To coincide with the extension announcement, the Craft Guild of Chefs has released seven expert tips from judges and past winners. David Mulcahy, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) competition, explained further:
“We know what a challenge preparing the perfect entry can be, so along with the decision to extend the deadline we’re also releasing some valuable advice. The guidance comes straight from the National Chef of the Year Hall of Fame, with advice from several successful chefs including Alyn Williams, Mark Sargeant and the current title-holder Larry Jayasekara. We’ve distilled the expertise of these industry leaders into a series of succinct top tips on what it takes to win, starting with advice on a winning entry form. We’d advise anyone who has yet to enter to refer to the tips and really try to apply them to their own entry in order to give themselves the best possible chance of success.”

1. Read and read again
“It sounds simple but it really is so important that chefs read the brief and entry guidelines over and over again to ensure nothing has been missed” – David Mulcahy, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the National Chef of the Year

2. Prioritise your presentation
“Take pride in your entry as it is an extension of you as a chef. It goes without saying it should be neatly formatted and the attached photos should be in focus, correct orientation and free from scattered and smeared mise en place in shot.” – Hayden Groves, Judge and 2013 National Chef of the Year

3. Showcase but don’t show off
“Keep it simple. Use the entry form to showcase your skills, knowledge and taste but avoid the temptation to show off.” – Mark Sargeant, Former National Chef of the Year and ambassador for Young National Chef of the Year

4. Write it for a plumber not a chef
“Make sure your paper entry is clean to read, well presented and makes sense. Don’t write a recipe as though another chef is reading it, write it as if a plumber is reading it and can follow it from start to finish.” - Simon Hulstone, National Chef of the Year 2008

5. A good title gets attention
“A good title for your dish will stand out and get you noticed right away. It needs to be something straightforward that gives judges an idea of the techniques and flavours they can expect from your dish.” Alyn Williams, Judge and National Chef of the Year 2012

6. Consistency is key
“Be consistent throughout the competition. All the dishes you create have to be ten out of ten if you want to win. Keep that in mind from the beginning when you’re at the entry form stage.” – Larry Jayasekara, Current 2016 National Chef of the Year

7. Put all your effort in
“Even if you are fantastic in the kitchen, it’s what’s on the entry form that will get you through to the next stage. You’ve got to put all your effort in, just as you would with cooking. We know chefs are busy people with limited time but this is a very difficult stage and dedication is required to complete the form to a high standard.” - Clare Smyth MBE, Chairman of Judges and Chef Patron at three Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

Enter online now:

The seven expert tips, plus more in-depth advice can all be found on the dedicated website at www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk, where for the first time ever, chefs can enter online.

A shortlist of forty chefs for the semi-finals will be revealed on 24th May following the paper judging. This year’s heats will take place at Sheffield College on Tuesday, 14th June, and at Le Cordon Bleu in London on Wednesday, 22nd June. Only ten chefs will go through to the National Chef of the Year final, which takes place at the Restaurant Show on Tuesday, 4th October.

The National Chef of the Year competition is run in partnership with KNORR and Lockhart Catering Equipment, and is supported by Evolve, CCS, Churchill, British Premium Meats, Cacao Barry, Wild Harvest, Direct Seafood and Sous Vide Tools.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of the Craft Guild of Chefs by Digital Blonde Ltd. For more information about the event or to arrange interviews with winners, judges or organisers please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07876365427.

Craft Guild of Chefs

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management, working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

Search gets underway for a new Young National Chef of the Year

The Craft Guild of Chefs, in partnership with Unilever Food Solutions, has today officially launched its search for the most exciting, up-and-coming culinary talent in the UK.

To kick-start the hunt the Guild has unveiled which 15 competitions or examinations the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) finalists and semi-finalists will be coming from.

The overall winners from the British Culinary Federation, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence, World Skills UK and the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Award will be automatically seeded a place in the final.

The final six places will be taken by those who score the highest at two semi-finals in June. To get a place in the semi-final young chefs must have already wowed the judges in one of these competitions or examinations over the last year:

  • South West Young Chef of the Year
  • The Master Chefs of Great Britain Young Chef of the Year
  • Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef
  • North West Chef of the Year
  • Young Scottish Chef of the Year
  • Young North East Chef of the Year
  • Guernsey Young Chef of the Year
  • Young Welsh Chef of the Year
  • Young Game Chef of the Year
  • Young Grampian Chef of the Year
  • UK Skills runner up
  • Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards

The semi-finals are to be held at Sheffield College on Tuesday, 14th June and at Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London on Wednesday 22nd June to coincide with the National Chef of the Year semi-finals.

David Mulcahy, the competition organiser and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs said “The standard of dishes served up by young chefs impresses the judges year on year which is why we seed through only the highest calibre of young talent the UK has to offer. All semi-finalists will already have been put through their paces and should be ready to take on the challenge of becoming Young National Chef of the Year. Not only does this competition celebrate young talent but it ensures that the chefs are mentored and supported throughout, enabling them to achieve their best in the final. Winning Young National Chef of the Year firmly establishes a chef as a rising star of the culinary world both in the UK and beyond.”

Young National Chef of the Year Ambassador, Mark Sargeant has high expectations for this year’s competition and commented: “It's always an absolute pleasure to be involved with YNCOTY and to witness the competition go from strength to strength. Each year the standards get higher and I'm really looking forward to seeing what talent this year’s competition brings.”

Being crowned as Young National Chef of the Year is a highly sought after prize but as well as going home with this prestigious accolade, the winner will also receive some incredible stagiaire and PR opportunities that will truly raise their profile in the industry.

Danny Hoang, who took the title of YNCOTY in October 2015 agreed and added “Being seeded into the live final of the Young National Chef of the Year competition was an honour in itself but to go on to win it was more than I could ever have hoped. I loved every part of this competition and have had some incredible opportunities since winning but there’s still plenty more to come. If you are looking to get your name seen and heard, this is definitely a competition to be part of.”

This year’s winner will be revealed along with the National Chef of the Year at an awards ceremony following The Restaurant Show on Tuesday 4th October 2016.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of the Craft Guild of Chefs by Digital Blonde Ltd. For more information about the event or to arrange interviews with winners, judges or organisers please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07876 365427.

Craft Guild of Chefs

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

The search is on

The search is on

Craft Guild of Chefs begins search for new National Chef of the Year

The search to discover who will be crowned this year’s National Chef of the Year is underway as the Craft Guild of Chefs has opened the entries for this year’s competition.

Over the last 44 years, the UK’s most prestigious and respected culinary competition has shone a spotlight on the fresh talent coming out of kitchens. Previous winners such as Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams and Mark Sargeant have demonstrated how it helps fast-track careers and put winners firmly on the map, and on the path to Michelin stars.

For the first stage of the contest, competitors are required to produce a creative lunch menu for four guests that could be cooked-up within two hours. The menu must consist of a risotto starter of the competitor’s choice; a main course using a whole chicken, with appropriate accompaniments and a choux pastry dessert of choice.

David Mulcahy, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the National Chef of the Year competition said “I always feel a sense of excitement on launch day as the brief for this year’s competition is unveiled and the buzz about the competition begins once again. Whether you have entered this competition before or are considering putting your skills to the ultimate challenge for the first time, I’d recommend entering. You just never know how far it could take you. This competition is not based on a chef’s personality or past triumphs but simply on culinary skills, interpretation of the ingredients and what chefs can create when the heat is really on.”

The winning chef will receive a wide range of prizes including a culinary trip to one of the world’s top restaurants, stagiaire opportunities, equipment from sponsors and chocolate workshops. Best of all is the wealth of opportunities that earning this prestigious accolade can bring. The winner will go on to be part of the National Chef of the Year 'Hall of Fame', which really sets them apart from their peers and offers the chance to meet and work with their culinary heroes.

Clare Smyth MBE, Chair of Judges said “Being known as the National Chef of the Year really is career changing. I want to encourage chefs from across all sectors to take part as it’s a fantastic platform to get your name out there. I am proud to be involved in the most respected culinary competition in the UK. We’ve created a really interesting brief for this year and I’m looking forward to seeing the menus that come in over the next few months.”

The competition is open to chefs who are 24 years or older as of April 1st 2016. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality business including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors and may be working in the UK or overseas.

Last year’s winner, Larry Jayasekara, sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings will never forget the moment he was announced as National Chef of the Year 2016. He said “It’s something I’ve always wanted and a dream I was never going to give up on. Simply having the opportunity for your food to be sampled by some of the UK’s most well-respected judges is incredible. However, nothing can beat that moment when you are standing in a line with some of the most talented and up and coming chefs in the UK and it’s you that is declared as the winner. Good luck to all the chefs entering this year, whatever stage you get to you won’t regret being part of this experience.”

Chefs have until Friday, 8th April, to submit their entry for paper judging via the new National Chef of the Year website at www.nationalchefoftheyear. The dedicated NCOTY site will be packed full of latest news, advice and inspiration and will updated throughout the competition.

A shortlist of 40 chefs for the semi-finals will be revealed on 24th May following the paper judging on the 20th. This year’s heats will take place at Sheffield College on Tuesday, 14th June, and at Le Cordon Bleu in London on Wednesday, 22nd June. Only ten chefs will go through to the National Chef of the Year final, which takes place at the Restaurant Show on Tuesday, 4th October.

The National Chef of the Year competition is run in partnership with KNORR and Lockhart Catering Equipment and is supported by Evolve, CCS, Churchill, British Premium Meats, Cacao Barry, Wild Harvest, Direct Seafood and Sous Vide Tools.

ENDS

Issued on behalf of the Craft Guild of Chefs by Digital Blonde Ltd. For more information about the event or to arrange interviews with winners, judges or organisers please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 07967 823854.

Craft Guild of Chefs
The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

Danny Hoang announced Young National Chef of the Year 2016

Competition celebrates the rising stars of the chef world

yncoty group

Danny Hoang from Colette’sat The Grove in Rickmansworth was named Young National Chef of the Year 2016 in the UK’s most prestigious chef competition, following a tense final at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia yesterday.

Winning the Craft Guild of Chefs’Young National Chef of the Year title is a huge boost for any young chef’s career and Danny joins a growing list of accomplished young chefs who are now working in some of the UK’s top kitchens.

Danny competed against seven talented young finalists in a challenge which gave the chefs two hours to produce a three course menu for two using oven ready quail for the starter, a main course of fresh hake and their own take on bread and butter pudding for dessert.

Danny’s starter was quail leg and breast, watercress and parsley sauce, hay-baked baby beetroots and nasturtium and his main; seared hake, baby leeks, vinaigrette of sea vegetables, mussels and celeriac, beet batter scraps, mussel cream sauce. His dessert was lightly spiced bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice-cream and malt custard, pickled blackberries and Braeburnapples.The menu was deemed a worthy winner by the judges who included: Mark Sargeant, Alyn Williams, Christopher Basten, Sophie Mitchell, Julie Walsh, Ben Tish and Brad McDonald.

Danny Young from Northcote Manor in Langho came a close runner up with Ruth Hansom of The Ritz London in third place.

The winner and runners up will be taken to a food trends study trip to Scotland by headline sponsor, KNORR. KNORR has also invited all the finalists to Loch Goil - a stunning five star venue in Scotland for a culinary study tour and a range of outdoor activities.

As well as the industry recognition that the title provides, Danny Hoang also collects an exclusively designed winner’s plate from sponsors Churchill China and £500 worth of product, £1,250 voucher to spend within the Lockharts’ Product Range, a unique gastronomic trip to one of the world’s top restaurants courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment and £1,500 worth of activityvoucher from KNORR.

The remaining finalists were:

Arthur Quinn, The Punchball Inn
Elly Wentworth, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe,
Connor Godfrey, Wiltons Restaurant
Ray Steplin, House of Commons
Victoria Scupham, The Royal Household

David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition says, “Young National Chef of the Year is a fantastic platform for young chefs and theexperiencealone ensures that they begin their career on a high. The competition has once again highlighted the outstanding young talent that exists in our country at the moment.  Each of the finalists cookedtremendously well and has set the bar high for the next generation of chefs. Danny Hoang’s dishes were exceptionally well thought out and executed but all the finalists should be very proud of their performance.”

Mark Sargeant, Young National Chef of the Year Ambassador, adds:

“It’s an honour to be an ambassador for Young National Chef of the Year. Having won a competition in a similar guise in 1996, I know what it means to have the accolade at such a young age. Winning makes a huge difference to your learning and enables you to build your social skills and grow your confidence. It can even lead you to your next job. I’m a big fan of these young chefs who are so keen and hungry. The standard of the competition goes from strength to strength and I may say it every year but these young chefs aren’t far off giving the senior chefs a run for theirmoney!”

For more information visit www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow @Craft_Guild #YNCOTY on Twitter.

 

Notes to editors

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs association with members worldwide infoodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

For further information and photography, please contact:

Michelle Diederichs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel: 07814 028 664

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