M Restaurant announces Young Chef of the Year finalists

07/06/2018 - 10:18
M Restaurant has today (7 June) announced its 12, 2018 Young Chef of the Year finalists, in with the chance of winning a five-day ‘pop up residency’ at its London-based restaurant RAW at M Victoria St.

Now in its second year, the competition is open to chefs under the age of 29 who currently work in restaurants across the UK.

After impressing judges with their submission – a four-course menu for 50 covers, costing no more than £45 per head - this year’s finalists are:

  • Ollie Fitton, 21, The Ryebeck Hotel, Bowness on Windemere
  • Adebayo, 22, Opera Tavern
  • Hamish Pearce, 22, Hide
  • Jamie Gardner, 23, Coal Shed
  • William Bowman Smith, 24, Galloways of Woburn
  • Stefano Camplone, 24, Neo Bistro
  • Daniel Andree, 25, The Curlew Restaurant
  • Aaron Ashmore, 27, Clarette
  • Mateusz Maksymilian Mitka, 28, Hotel Farnborough
  • Wojieck Okenski, 29, M
  • Andrew Beynon, 29, Pollen St Social
  • Filippo Boaro, 24 M

Run by M Restaurant, Bookatable by Michelin and Champagne Pommery, the Young Chef of the Year competition aims to “find the best young talent already in kitchens and encourage others to start up a career in the hospitality industry, following reported staff shortages post-Brexit.”

M founder, Martin Williams, added: “There are two purposes of the competition - to nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens and secondly, I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves.

“Thanks to Brexit, the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges.”

The finalists will each be tasked with hosting their own five-day pop-up at M’s RAW Restaurant from 3-28 July, with diners and judges voting for their favourite young chef.

The panel includes: M Restaurant founder, Martin Williams; M group executive chef, Michael Reid; chefs and personalities including Adam Handling, Andy Lynes, Claudio Cardoso, Sophie Michell, Daniel Watkins, Jose Pizarro, Michael Wignall, Steve Dinneen, Sudi Pigott and Tom Kemble.

There are four titles up for grabs: Young Chef of the Year, Young Chef of the Year Runner Up, Best Dish (as voted by the judges) and Best Social Campaign (as voted by Bookatable).

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 31 July.

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