Who will The National Chef of the Year finalists need to impress at The Restaurant Show 2018?


Today, the Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed the impressive line-up of judges who will help discover the next The National Chef of the Year and Young National Chef of the Year winners.

Heading up the panel of judges for the second time is Gary Jones, executive head chef from Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. He has organised strong teams of judges to ensure that every single dish has been tasted and scored against a range of criteria.

There will be teams of judges both on the competition stage, in a dedicated judging room and behind the scenes. All the judging will be scored independently with the overall highest score across all three courses being declared the winner.

The NCOTY Judge’s Room

Taking seats in the judge’s room and being the first to taste the starters are:

  • Simon Hulstone, chef-patron at The Elephant Restaurant
  • Paul Ainsworth who is chef-patron at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6.

Tasting the main courses in the judge’s room will be:

  • André Garrett, executive chef at Cliveden House
  • Frederick Forster who is a former winner of The National Chef of the Year and head chef at Plateau Restaurant in Canary Wharf.

Scoring the desserts in the judge’s room will be:

  • William Curley, Patissier-Chocolatier at William Curley Ltd
  • Stephen Terry, Restaurateur, The Hardwick Arms.

The Chefs’ Top Table

On the chefs’ top table, judging the starters live in front of an audience of hundreds of foodies, will be:

  • Clare Smyth, chef/owner at Core by Clare
  • Claude Bosi, chef-patron at Bibendum restaurant in Chelsea
  • Philip Howard, chef-patron at Elystan Street
  • Ollie Dabbous, chef and founder of Hide.

The main courses on the top table will be judged by:

  • Jonny Lake
  • Tom Kerridge, chef-patron, from The Hand & Flowers and The Coach
  • Daniel Doherty who is the chef/owner of The Royal Oak
  • Lisa Goodwin-Allen, executive head chef at Northcote Manor.

Looking to taste some delicious desserts on the chefs’ table will be:

  • Benoit Blin MCA, chef patissier from Le Manoir
  • James 'Jocky' Petrie, group executive development chef at Gordon Ramsay Group
  • Graham Hornigold who is director of Smart Patisserie
  • Monica Galetti, Chef Proprietor from Mere Restaurant.

Taking note of and scoring everything that’s going on behind the scenes will be Mark Flanagan who works at The Royal Household and Steve Scuffell, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs.

The Young National Chef of the Year judges

Overseeing who will take the title of The Young National Chef of the Year is chair of judges, Mark Sargeant, chef-patron at Rocksalt Restaurant in Folkestone. Mark will be joined by an impressive panel of judges including:

  • Alyn Williams, head chef, Alyn Williams at The Westbury, London & chef-patron at The Wild Rabbit
  • Sarah Hartnett, pastry chef
  • Julie Walsh, head pastry chef lecturer at Le Cordon Bleu
  • Russell Bateman, head chef at Petrus
  • Ben Tish, culinary director at The Stafford London
  • Lee Westcott who is the chef-owner of Pensons
  • Daniel Galmiche, chef consultant at 190 Queen's Gate by Daniel Galmiche
  • Luke Selby, current National Chef of the Year and head chef at Hide Above
  • Hayden Groves, former National Chef of the Year and executive chef at BaxterStorey.

Judging these two competitions is never an easy task but in just one week’s time we will know the winner of both competitions. Watch all the live action by registering for The Restaurant Show. If you are unable to be in the audience you will be able to follow the events from the day using #NCOTY and #YNCOTY and following @Craft_Guild on Twitter and @CraftGuildofChefs on Instagram and heading to

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