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.


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.

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