New ‘extra mile’ award created in memory of talented chef, Matt Campbell

Next week the Craft Guild of Chefs will reveal the winner of The National Chef of the Year award, which is one of the most hotly-anticipated announcements in the chef world. For 2018, the Guild has introduced a new award which has been created in memory of talented chef, Matt Campbell, who tragically died running the London Marathon in April.

When judging The National Chef of the Year entries, it was found that Matt Campbell had not only entered the competition, but his menu had impressed the panel and successfully made it into the top 40. Judging of the dishes is completed anonymously so when compiling the names of the semi-finalists the organisers were sad to discover that Matt was unable to take his semi-final spot. The Kendal chef was running the London Marathon for The Brathay Trust in honour of his father, Martin. In the days following the run, thousands of people pledged to complete ‘3.7 extra miles’ in memory of the MasterChef: The Professionals star.

Named the ‘Matt Campbell Extra Mile Award’, it will be presented to one of the ten National Chef of the Year finalists who has made a big impression on the judges, in both the build-up to and during the competition.

Revealing why this award is so special to The National Chef of the Year, organiser and Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, David Mulcahy said: “We wanted to recognise the work of not only Matt Campbell but also our ten dedicated finalists. Throughout the competition, we’ve been looking at every element of the chefs’ work, not only when competing but also in the part they play as ambassadors for our industry. As the most prestigious chef award, we recognise the role NCOTY has in inspiring all those who work in hospitality and celebrating the positive work that goes on to attract and retain talent, promote culinary skills and encourage sustainability. I feel honoured to introduce this award and am looking forward to revealing our first winner next week.”

The Chair of judges, Gary Jones has overall responsibility in finding the recipient of the Matt Campbell Extra Mile Award 2018. He added: “Over recent years there has been a lot of discussion about creating positive environments in modern kitchens and how senior chefs support those youngsters around them. It’s vital we work together to ensure we are truly nurturing the next generation to succeed in our industry. The National Chef of the Year is a key part of this mission with its long list of ambassadors, judges and competitors who always go the extra mile to develop their teams and steer the industry forward towards a sustainable future.”

The Craft Guild of Chefs will reveal the winner of the first Matt Campbell Extra Mile Award at The National Chef of the Year VIP celebration which takes place at Adam Handling’s The Frog in Covent Garden.

If you are unable to make it to The Restaurant Show, you can discover who the winners of both the overall competition and this new award are by following the Craft Guild of Chefs and the #NCOTY hashtag on Twitter @Craft_Guild, Instagram @CraftGuildofChefs and www.facebook.com/craftguildofchefs..

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 Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions

June, 2018
For immediate release

A strong focus on sourcing and seasonality, innovation and creativity are the key ingredients in creating a National Chef of the Year finalist

Following a series of exciting cook-offs at Sheffield College and Le Cordon Bleu, the Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed its ten talented chefs for the National Chef of the Year final. Under the watchful eyes of some of the culinary world heavyweights, four heat winners and six runners-up cooked up a storm to take their place in the UK’s most prestigious culinary final.  

Last week, Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle, took the first place in the NCOTY final when he won the Sheffield heat. Today he was joined by fellow heat winners, George Blogg from Gravetye Manor, Glenn Evans from Las Iguanas and Liam Fauchard-Newman who works at Rhubarb/Fenchurch.

Joining them at The Restaurant Show on the 2nd October are the six chefs who received the next highest scores across all four heats. These chefs were named as Martin Frickel from The Forestside, David Neilson who works at Number One at the Balmoral, Nick Smith from Harbour & Jones Ashurst, Kuba Winkowski from The Feathered Nest Inn, Stefan Sewell from CSCAT, Thomas Westerland who works at Lucknam Park.

Chair of judges, Gary Jones, executive chef from Belmond Le Manoir said: “What a week it’s been for the National Chef of the Year competition. Some of the cooking has been exceptional which made it a challenge for the judges to whittle 40 chefs down to just ten. What really stood out for me was how much the finalists listened to the brief this year and focused on the sourcing of their ingredients, considered seasonality when planning their menus, as well as showcasing their creativity and innovation. It’s set to be one of our most exciting finals yet and I can’t wait to judge it in October.”

Organiser of the competition and Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs, David Mulcahy added: “It wasn’t an easy brief this year with a vegetarian starter thrown into the mix and a very classic dessert brought in to truly test each chef’s culinary skills. However, the semi- finalists really embraced the challenge when putting together their menus. We saw a real variety of menus and this showed the diverse range of chefs we had from all sectors of hospitality. For those who didn’t make the top ten, I hope they have really learnt from this experience, and come back and try again next year. Whatever stage you get to, NCOTY helps every chef to grow and develop in some way.”

Before the final, all ten chefs will take part in a Mentor Day on Tuesday, 11th September where the mystery basket of ingredients will be revealed. Some big names have already been confirmed to judge the final exam which takes place at The Restaurant Show on Tuesday, 2nd October including Tom Kerridge, Clare Smyth, Philip Howard, Ollie Dabbous and Mark Flanagan.

At today’s award ceremony, the organisers also revealed the six talented young chefs taking the Young National Chef of the Year final spots. This included heat winner from Sheffield, Jamie Mackinnon who works at The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews. He was joined by the London heat winner, Henry Wadsworth from Belmond Le Manoir. Claiming the remaining places in the YNCOTY final are Jonathan Ferguson from Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Thomas Reeves who works at L’Enclume, Arron Tye from Grosvenor Pulford and Aaron Middleton who works at The Above Restaurant. These six chefs join Gilles Varone who works at Petrus and was the Highest Achiever in the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards, Luke Turner from L’Enclume who won the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year and Supatthra Viriphan who works at Chewton Glen and represents World Skills. The final place will be the winner of the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence which will be announced in July.

Following the Young National Chef of the Year heats, chair of judges, Mark Sargeant commented: “I know I say it every year, but these young chefs really could compete with the senior chefs. In all the years I’ve judged, I don’t think I have ever seen such enthusiasm and energy from a group of young chefs in a competition. It was incredible to see the level of food they put out in just 90 minutes. Hearing about where their ingredients had come from and their overall knowledge of sourcing and seasonality was really inspiring and the future is definitely in safe hands with so much young talent on its way through.”

 

ncoty17


Friday, 18th May, 2018
For immediate release

The Craft Guild of Chefs reveals 40 chefs in the running for National Chef of the Year

After an intensive day of judging the Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed the 40 chefs they will be taking through to the next stage of The National Chef of the Year. With many new faces entering this year, the candidates gave the expert panel of judges a difficult task.

Overseen by Gary Jones, executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir as Chair of judges, David Mulcahy, Alyn Williams, Peter Joyner, Andrew Bennett, Russell Bateman, Phil Howard, Steve Scuffell, Sarah Hartnett, Gary Hunter and Willie Pike whittled the impressive list down to 40. At this stage, all judges scores are based on an online entry including descriptions of dishes, cooking method and photographs of the completed menus. Chef names and workplaces are removed for the judging process, so judges are purely scoring on the dishes submitted.

The competition is open to chefs who are 24 years or older as of February 1st, 2018. Competitors come from all areas of the hospitality business including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors.

The Sheffield semi-final will take place on the morning of Tuesday, 12th June 2018 and will include:

Heat 1

  • Aled Williams, head of development and innovation, TRUEfoods
  • Daniel McGeorge, head chef, Rothay Manor Hotel
  • David Neilson, senior chef de partie, Number One at the Balmoral
  • Derek Johnstone, head chef, Borthwick Castle
  • Josh Adams, development chef, Sousvide Tools
  • Kacper Walor, sous chef, Ladhar Leisure/ Pleased To Meet You
  • Martin Frickel, senior sous chef, The Forestside
  • Matt Worswick, head chef, Matt Worswick at The Latymer
  • Matthew Ramsdale, sous chef, The Chester Grosvenor
  • Zoltan Szabo, executive chef, Blythswood Square Hotel Glasgow

Three heats will be completed at Le Cordon Bleu in London on Tuesday, 19th June 2018 and these will include:

Heat 2

  • Adam Thomason, executive chef, Restaurant Associates at Deloitte
  • Andonis Paraskeva, executive head chef, Lusso Catering CH&Co
  • George Blog, head chef, Gravetye Manor
  • James Cousins , senior sous chef, Restaurant Associates at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Kuba Winkowski, head chef, The Feathered Nest Inn
  • Marcin Pomierny, head chef, The Maids Head Hotel
  • Nick Smith, head chef, Harbour&Jones / Ashurst
  • Sam Bowser, head chef, Dormy House
  • Sarah-Jasmina Moussabih, head chef, Nordic Catering
  • Virginia Ramiro Mendez, sous chef, Vacherin/Royal Bank of Canada

Heat 3

  • Aaron Ashmore, head chef, Clarette - Chateaux Margaux
  • Daniel Jones, head chef, JT at 3 Main Street, Fishguard
  • Glenn Evans, head of food, Las Iguanas
  • Jamie Park, head chef, The Frog E1
  • Joseph Fallowfield, sous chef, The Elephant
  • Jozef Rogulski, executive head chef, The Stafford Hotel London
  • Luciano Lucioli, head chef, Private Chef
  • Paul O'Neill, head chef, Cliveden House Hotel
  • Stefan Sewell, defence chef instructor, CSCAT
  • Thomas Westerland, head chef, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa

Heat 4  

  • Daniel Tilinger, sous chef, Social Wine and Tapas
  • David Davey-Smith, chef instructor, Royal Air Force
  • Fraser Bruce, head chef, The Tate Gallery St Ives
  • Garreth Wilson, head chef, Titanic Belfast
  • Liam Fauchard-Newman, senior sous chef, Rhubarb / Fenchurch
  • Martin Kilbey, executive head chef, Sodexo
  • Nat Tallents, executive chef, Lewinnick Lodge & The Plume of Feathers
  • Sam Astley-Dean, sous chef, Elystan street
  • Stefano Leone, executive head chef, D&D London / Royal Exchange Grand Cafe & Sauterelle
  • Terry O'Riordan, executive chef, Compass group UK & Ireland

The winner of each heat will automatically be seeded into the final which takes place on Tuesday 2nd October at The Restaurant Show. It will then be down to the highest scores across all four heats to discover which six chefs will complete the line-up.

Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the UK’s most prestigious culinary competition, David Mulcahy said: “I am delighted with the quality of entries for this year’s National Chef of the Year. The task set focused on key skills, provenance of produce and a modern interpretation to classic dishes. We have seen some exciting innovation and creativity from the entries. It is encouraging to see many new faces entering this year and with a diverse selection of chefs from all sectors we are in for a great series of semi-finals.”

Gary Jones, Chair of National Chef of the Year judges, added: “When we set the brief we wanted the focus to be on two key things – showcasing our exceptional British produce and evolving chefs’ skills. What we’ve witnessed in the judging process is that the chefs have stepped up to the mark with creative and innovative ideas. There’s only ten places up for grabs in this final and we’ve got some seriously talented chefs in the running. Over the coming weeks I expect these 40 chefs to put the work in and be ready to impress the judges in Sheffield and London. Only the best will make it.”

Andrew Bennett, new Chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs was taking on one of his first tasks in his new role. He commented: “The National Chef of the Year continues to go from strength to strength and having judged this competition over many years, it is amazing to observe how it has transformed with the times. As the new Chair of the Guild, I’ve been able to view the competition in a different light. It’s a key element of what the Guild do so well.”

Those who get through to the top ten will have the opportunity to cook for some of the biggest chef names in the UK with many judges for the final already lined-up. This includes Clare Smyth, Tom Kerridge, Philip Howard, Ollie Dabbous and Mark Flanagan.

The National Chef of the Year is organised in partnership with Bunzl Lockhart and KNORR and supported by Evolve, Ritter Courivaud, UNOX, CCS, Churchill, British Premium Meats, Mash, Santa Maria, Electrolux, Sousvide Tools and Direct Seafood.

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 Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

Thursday, 1st February, 2018

The search for the next National Chef of the Year gets underway

After an unforgettable 2017, with Lucas Selby taking the National Chef of the Year title, the Craft Guild of Chefs has begun its quest to find the next UK chef to take the crown.

Luke Gary and David

Widely-regarded as the most respected and prestigious culinary title, National Chef of the Year has a 46-year history of winners including Gordon Ramsay, Mark Sargeant, Simon Hulstone, Alyn Williams, Russell Bateman and latest Michelin starred recipient, Hrishikesh Desai. 

To take the sought-after title, chefs must complete an online entry form and then battle it out in one of four tough semi-finals, cooking up three courses in just two hours. Finalists must then impress some of the biggest names in the chef-world at a live final at The Restaurant Show in October.

David Mulcahy, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of NCOTY said: “We’ve seen some of the most talented chefs join the list of winners in National Chef of the Year and last year was no exception. Lucas Selby is definitely a chef to watch having also earned the Graduate Award, Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) and Roux Scholarship. But we need a new chef to follow in Luke’s footsteps and are proud to launch this year’s campaign. We’ve worked hard to put together a brief that will truly show what this competition is all about – the best produce, classic skills and seasonality. I challenge all UK chefs to push themselves out into the spotlight and enter, as whatever stage you get to, NCOTY provides opportunities that will define careers.”

The National Chef of the Year brief asks chefs to produce a creative menu for two guests. It should consist of a seasonal plant based vegetarian starter of the competitor’s choice incorporating suitable grains or pulses; a lamb main course to include two cuts and two cooking methods suitable for the summer season; and a modern approach to a classic ‘floating island’ dessert dish, to include a seasonal fruit element of the competitor’s choice.

The lamb for the main course should be sourced from the UK with competitors needing to indicate the breed of lamb and the farm it’s sourced from. Full details of the brief and an online entry form can be found at www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk

Gary Jones, Chair of the judges and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir, shared his inspiration behind this year’s brief: “The focus has been on two key things – showcasing our exceptional British produce and evolving chefs’ skills. I feel passionate about this brief and believe it will display the emerging talent that our UK chefs have to offer. I look forward to seeing how each individual chef interprets the brief to their own style. The written entries must entice our judges as only 40 chefs will be selected to compete in the semis and only 10 will reach the final. So keep it brilliantly simple, on point, on time and true to your own culinary flair. Get ready to impress our judges as NCOTY opens so many opportunities and I can’t wait to help judge some of the most-talented up and coming chefs in the UK.”

The competition is open to chefs who are 24 years or older on February 1st, 2018. Competitors may come from all areas of the hospitality industry including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors and may be working in the UK or overseas.

Current NCOTY, Lucas Selby encouraged chefs to enter this year: “Winning the title of National Chef of the Year has always been an ambition of mine since I took the YNCOTY crown back in 2014. Having followed the careers of previous winners, I have seen the doors this competition opens. Whilst it was the hardest competition I’ve ever done, it was absolutely worth it to hear my name called out and I would recommend the experience to all chefs.”

Luke Selby NCOTY

Chefs have until Friday, 30th March, to submit their entry and a shortlist of 40 chefs for the semi-finals will be revealed on 18th May. This year’s heats will take place at Sheffield College on Tuesday, 12th June, and at Le Cordon Bleu in London on Tuesday, 19th June. Ten chefs will go through to the National Chef of the Year final, which takes place at The Restaurant Show on Tuesday, 2nd October.

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

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 Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.

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