The Search for the UK’s Top Young Chef Talent is on!


What’s happening with the Young National Chef of the Year competition in 2020?

The Craft Guild of Chefs recognises that for the hospitality industry, many events have been postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future. Whilst it’s absolutely the correct thing to do right now for the safety of everyone, it’s also important the industry looks to the future wherever this is possible. Many chefs are working hard to keep cooking, develop menus and inspire others to find a love of the culinary arts. The Guild has been inspired by the stories coming out on social media of positivity and strength at such a difficult time.

The organisers of the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) have been looking at what they can do to support the future of the industry during 2020. They have reviewed the full competition and are as hopeful as they can be that at the end of September an exciting and dynamic final will be held at The Restaurant Show. However, given the current situation it has been agreed that the YNCOTY semi-finals will not take place in June.

The format of YNCOTY remains a ‘by invitation only’ competition. Given the fact that several other competitions have been postponed, where winners are usually invited to compete in YNCOTY, we have had to review the process. Where necessary, the Guild will invite the professional chef associations involved to put forward their preferred candidate. By doing so, the organisers are confident they will find ten chefs who are at the top of their game and should be celebrated in the national spotlight. These finalists will be confirmed by May, so the chefs have plenty of time to work hard in preparing for the competition with the support of the wider industry.

Behind the scenes, David Mulcahy and chair of judges, Hrishikesh Desai are also focusing on producing an inspiring final criteria. This will include new elements around sustainability, working with the YNCOTY headline sponsor, Knorr Professional.

David Mulcahy, organiser of Young National Chef of the Year and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs said: “This is an ongoing process which we are watching very closely. We will make any necessary alterations to arrangements if the situation continues late into the summer. But at this stage, we are doing all we can to provide the industry with a positive story which celebrates this strong and resilient industry. This is an opportunity to approach the competition differently, strengthen the focus on the final ten chefs in both young and senior competitions and to use this opportunity to increase the reach and impact of the UK’s best loved professional chef challenge. We have the interests of competitors at heart and given the situation today and level of uncertainty for the coming weeks and months, we will do everything possible to fix dates and reassure all involved.”


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