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.
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
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:
Larry Jayasekara from Gordon Ramsay Holdings secures the UK’s most Coveted Chef Title
National Chef of the Year Winner 2016 Announced
Larry Jayasekara, sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, was yesterday announced as the Craft Guild of Chefs’National Chef of the Year 2016, the UK’s most sought after chef prize.
The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year is the largest and most prestigious chef competition in the UK and the final was watched by more than 100 hospitality professionals and students at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia. The chefs were given just two hours to produce four covers consisting of a starter and main using seafood and meat selected from a mystery basket. They had to create a hot or cold dessert using chocolate and coffee.
Larry joins an esteemed club of winners, which includes Ramsay himself, David Everitt- Matthias, Alyn Williams, Mark Sargeant and many more who have gone on to gain industry-wide recognition and achieve ambitious career goals thanks to their success in the competition.
Second place in the competition went to Paul Foster from Mallory Court and in third place was Martin Carabott from the The Royal Automobile Club.
The remaining finalists were:
Adam Handling, Head Chef, Adam Handling at Caxton
Andrew Ditchfield, Pastry Chef, House of Commons
Lawrence McCarthy, Sous Chef, The Ledbury Restaurant
Luciano Lucioli, Head Chef, Marks & Spencers Headquarters (Lusso - CH&Co)
Mark Kempson, Head Chef, Kitchen W8
Larry’s menu of Plancha native lobster, leek, red pepper, Roast loin of venison, cavelo nero, blackberries, Chocolate coffee cream, pan roasted pear greatly impressed the judging panel which once again comprised some of Britain’s most accomplished chefs. This year they were led by chair of judges Clare Smyth and included Alyn Williams, Ben Tish, Claude Bosi, Daniel Clifford, James ‘Jocky’ Petrie, Sat Bains and Stephen Terry.
As well as the career defining benefits associated with winning National Chef of the Year, Larry also collected the winner’s medal, £1,250 to spend within Lockhart’s product range, a unique gastronomic trip to one of the world’s top restaurants courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment, a £1,500 activity voucher courtesy of KNORR and an exclusively designed winner’s plate from Churchill.
David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition says,
“The National Chef of the Year is a major career boost for the winning chef and the title is coveted by chefs throughout the UK. Today the judges felt that the quality of all the finalists’ dishes had risen significantly. They were extremely focused and all the dishes extremely well executed. It was a much closer competition that in previous years and it was fantastic to see and taste so many delicious dishes.”
Clare Smyth, chair of judges, commented, “We knew that standards would be high this year and we’ve had an amazing final. It’s great to have so many fantastic chefs entering and whilst we’ve had some fantastic finals I think this really was the best ever.
The desserts particularly were the best desserts there have ever been in the competition. The top three were really close but thanks to having such incredible judges, each with a different opinion, the results balanced out and the best chef won.”
For more information visit: www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow @Craft_Guild #NCOTY on Twitter.
Notes to editors
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.
For further information and photography, please contact: