Craft Guild announces Young National Chef of the Year finalists

Last year's winner, Danny Young
Following an incredibly tense round of semi-finals at Sheffield College (12 June) and Le Corden Bleu (London, 19 June), the Craft Guild of Chefs announced its 10 Young National Chef of the Year 2019 finalists.

Described by competition organiser, David Mulcahy as a ‘phenomenal day,’ he praised the chefs for making this year’s heats the ‘smoothest yet’ and for showcasing their outstanding knowledge, skill and creativity in the kitchen.

With over 100 paper entries, there is no question that the 40 NCOTY and 14 YNCOTY semi-finalists are all incredibly talented and have the drive and passion to join our former winners, including Simon Hulstone and Gordon Ramsay.

Tasked with producing a vegetarian starter, lamb main course and modern ‘floating island’ dessert, Mulcahy said “it wasn’t an easy brief but the semi- finalists really embraced the challenge and saw a real variety of menus.”

 hair 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.”

10 YNCOTY finalists

  • Jamie Mackinnon, The Seafood Restaurant (St Andrews) (Sheffield heat)
  • Henry Wadsworth, Belmond Le Manoir (London heat winner)
  • Jonathan Ferguson, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
  • Thomas Reeve, L’Enclume
  • Arron Tye, Grosvenor Pulford
  • Aaron Middleton, The Above Restaurant

Joining them are:

  • Gilles Varone, Petrus - highest achiever in the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards
  • Luke Turner, L’Enclum - British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year winner
  • Supatthra Viriphan, Chewton Glen - 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.

Brand new for this year, each chef has been invited take part in a Mentor Day on 11 September, where the mystery basket of ingredients they are required to cook with in the final (2 October, the Restaurant Show) will be revealed.

For more information visit: www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk

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