About Young Chef Young Waiter China & South East Asia

Promoting Hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation. Young Chef Young Waiter – China & South East Asia is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background working in the Chinese and South East Asian Restaurant sector.

Young Chef Young Waiter combines a 41 year heritage with a lively new format, 2019 saw the hugely exciting, highly successful return of YCYW: bigger, better and more interactive than ever.

This year, the competition extends to the Chinese and South East Asian sector. We are looking to attract young talented entrants currently working in the UK Hospitality industry and has been for 3 years.

The entrants will have the opportunity to meet high profile industry professionals, learn new skills and make new friends at a competition like no other.

Click here to enter YCYW China & South East Asia 2020

Our expert Head Chef Judges include the highest accolade of Chefs in the industry. We have an esteemed panel of judges, led by Chairwoman Ching-He Huang, Ken Hom OBE, Andrew Wong of Michelin Starred A Wong, Tony Truong of Mei Ume at The Four Seasons, Chef Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure, Chef Chong Choi Fong from China Tang at The Dorchester. For the Front of House Young Waiter Judges we have Restaurant Director Alan Tang of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, Andy Downton of Park Chinois, Bernard Yeo of Kai Mayfair and John Man of China Tang at The Dorchester.

The competition is the first of it’s kind in the U.K., the Young Chefs Young Waiters will compete to win in the National Finals on the 17th November 2020 at The Langham in Central London. The winners will be crowned that same evening with a glittering evening at The Ballroom, Langham London Hotel.

Win a pair of Premium Economy return tickets (London to Asia) courtesy of EVA Air. Valid between November 2020 – 21. In addition The winner will also win a week’s work experience at the Wynn hotel in Macau including accommodation. Their famous Michelin star restaurants include - Sichuan Moon By Andre Chiang, Golden Flower and Wing Lei Heen.

Being part of the Young Chef Young Waiter of the Year is a once in a lifetime experience. A chance for competitors to test their proficiency and progress their careers whilst learning, building new relationships and developing their potential and most of all, Young Chef Young Waiter is fantastic fun!

The aim of Young Chef Young Waiter - China & South East Asia is simple: to uncover the very best young talent in our industry and help equip them with relevant skills, current knowledge and the network needed to succeed in the world of hospitality. Devised by respected professionals, the competition has a fresh modern approach that focusses on tasks and criteria that are challenging, educational and fun.

Young Chef Young Waiter showcases all aspects of hospitality. Inspiring, empowering and inclusive, most of all we celebrate the capabilities and diversity of our amazing industry.

You are the leaders of the future. It’s your incredible expertise that YCYW commends. Be sure to join us for the competition in 2020.

Judges - China & South East Asia

Head Chef Judges

JUDGES - CHINA & SOUTH EAST ASIA

Ching He Huang

"Ching He Huang, known as ‘Ching’, is an Emmy-nominated, Award winning TV Chef and Cookery Book Author, who has been championing, popularising and de-mystifying Chinese cuisine read more in the media, since 2003. Ching’s approach to cookery stems from the traditional farming community of her grandparents in Southern Taiwan. Ching’s ethos is to use fresh organic produce, making cooking fun, accessible and nutritious to all, appealing to both the East and West. 

Ching has fronted 11 TV shows, authored 9 cookery books and is published in several languages around the world. Her recent books “STIR CRAZY” and ‘WOK ON’ consistently reach bestseller status in the Amazon charts for Chinese Cookery.  Ching has consulted on many levels, from family owned restaurants to international corporations in hospitality, often working with brands to execute successful media campaigns. Despite Ching’s achievements, her message remains humble. She believes that cooking can be an empowering opportunity to transform and self-realise - “to cook for others is to share joy, to cook for yourself is self-love, to consume consciously is to be compassionate”. 

Ching supports numerous charities - Buddhist Charity TZU CHI whose aims are to show Compassion in Action, and the charity Centrepoint, whose goal is to end youth homelessness – both causes close to Ching’s heart. Ching is a food entrepreneur and founding creator of the “Lotus Wok” whose aim is to transform impoverished lives through food.

Her food journey will lead her to publish her 10th book, ‘Asian Green’ – a plant based recipe book, in Jan 2021, published by Kyle Books. 

Ching enjoys Films, QiGong, Yoga, Swimming, Painting and Gardening."

Ken Hom OBE

"Ken Hom OBE is the man who showed the British how to cook Asian food. A leading authority on Chinese cuisine, he is one of the most respected and celebrated TV chefs of all time. read more His phenomenal success is easily measured. He is the author of almost 40 books, which have inspired millions of home cooks around the world. In Britain alone, the Ken Hom wok is found in one in seven kitchens. Ken Hom, who resides in France and in Thailand but travels tirelessly all over the world, continues to appear regularly as celebrity chef, write new books and keep an involvement with restaurants worldwide. He has presented seven UK television series launching his career over 35 years ago with Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery. His most recent book is his autobiography ‘My Stir Fried Life’ – published in English and Chinese and available from Amazon, a high-spirited, life-enriching feast where the chopsticks never stock clattering, the platters are always abundant, and dreams – no matter how ridiculously unbelievable – can and do come true.

He is a founding patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective, an independent cultural Institute that promotes better understanding of food and drink. The Collective has links to Oxford Brookes University through its foundation, formed to provide students with outstanding learning experience. https://oxfordculturalcollective.com/
A great charity supporter, his two main charities are Action Against Hunger and Prostate Cancer UK. "

Andrew Wong

A.Wong Restaurant

"Andrew Wong is Chef Patron of A.Wong restaurant in Pimlico and Kym’s at Bloomberg Arcade in London. Born and raised in London, Andrew’s path into cheffing was far from typical. read more He studied chemistry at Oxford University and then transferred to the London School of Economics, where he studied Social Anthropology.
When his father - who originally ran the restaurant in Pimlico - died, Andrew enrolled at Westminster Kingsway College culinary school with a view to helping out in the kitchen. During his time there, he made the decision to expand his knowledge of Chinese cooking and spent a year in China working in the cities of Beijing and Qingdao and studying at the Sichuan Culinary Institute just outside Chengdu. Returning to London in 2012, he took over the family restaurant and after a refurbishment and rename, he launched A.Wong.

In 2018, Andrew opened his second restaurant, aptly named Kym’s, at Bloomberg Arcade."

Goh Wee Boon

Imperial Treasure

Chef Goh Wee Boon is the Executive Chef for Imperial Treasure St James’s, the first European branch for Imperial Treasure, an awarding winning and Michelin-starred restaurant group. The Group now has more than read more 20 restaurants in Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Incheon, London and Paris with four Michelin stars in its portfolio.

Singaporean-born Chef Boon has always been passionate about food and started his career at a young age of 14 in various local Chinese restaurants, before moving to the Marriott Hotel in Singapore.

His work ethic and culinary expertise caught the attention of Chef Tong Chee Hwee, Executive Head Chef for Hakkasan, who invited him to join his team in Hanway Place, London as a senior Sous Chef in 2003. In 2010, Chef Boon was appointed the Head Chef of Chedi, an Alan Yau project in Tallin, Estonia. There, he successfully elevated Chedi to one of the 50-best restaurants in Estonia. In 2015, Chef Boon moved back to London and re-joined Hakkasan as Chef de Cuisine.

In 2019, Chef Boon joined Imperial Treasure, helming its London branch in prime St James’s. The London restaurant was awarded a Michelin Plate by Michelin Guide London in the same year."

Chong Choi Fong

China Tang At The Dorchester

Originally from Guangdong, China, Chong Choi Fong started his career in Cantonese cuisine at the age of 18 in Hong Kong. He has since held numerous senior positions in well-known establishments in both Hong Kong, read more Tokyo and Xiamen. In 2011, he was recruited by Sir David Tang, the late founder of China Tang London, and appointed Head Chef at China Tang At The Dorchester. This year China Tang At The Dorchester enters its 16th year at the helm of traditional Cantonese cuisine in Mayfair under the continued expert direction of Head Chef Chong Choi Fong.

Tony Truong

Mei Ume

Tony Truong is an award-winning chef with more than 37 years of experience. Born in Vietnam, Tony always had a love for food and spent much of his time as a child helping his mother in the kitchen, creating delicious Vietnamese dishes. read more Tony moved to China at the age of 17 and whilst working as a waiter, soon realised that his true passion was the kitchen. “I started at the very bottom and it was a great learning experience. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen and am grateful to the Head Chef for offering me a job in his team!”

He came to the UK in 1981 and in 1999 joined Royal China Queensway as Sous Chef, the first step in a long career with the company. A year later, he was promoted to Head Chef and took on more management responsibilities, helping the company expand with new openings in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Dubai and Thailand.

Tony won the City of Westminster Chinese MasterChef Award in both 2006 and 2007 and then went on to mentor his Sous Chef, who also successfully won the Award in 2008. A year later, in 2009, he appeared on Gordon Ramsey's The F Word, broadcast on Channel 4, and showed the renowned British chef how to cook mitten crab with tofu.

In 2017, Tony was appointed Head Chef of Mei Ume, located within Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.

Head Front of House Judges

JUDGES - CHINA & SOUTH EAST ASIA

Alan Tang

Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London

"British-born Chinese, Alan Tang grew up in West Sussex and realised his passion for the hospitality industry from a very young age. Initially helping out at his parent's takeaway business's after school, read more followed by local café's and family owned restaurants. He worked his way up to Assistant Restaurant Manager at Gars Chinese Restaurant in Brighton before moving to London to study Accountancy.

Alan developed a wealth of experience managing fine Chinese restaurants such as Michelin starred restaurant - Hakkasan at Hanway Place, Hutong at The Shard, and the opening of Asia's award winning restaurant - Imperial Treasure at St James's. He has also worked in leading hotels such as Hotel Café Royal and managed the opening of Mei Ume at Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square.

In January 2020, Alan was appointed Restaurant Director at the luxury global brand, Shangri-La Hotel London,
at The Shard"

Andy Downton, Waiter Judge

Andy Downton

PARK CHINOIS

In 2003 Andy moved to London, progressing to Head Waiter for Marcus Waring at the Savoy Grill. In November 2006, he became assistant restaurant manager for the launch of Theo Randall read more at the Intercontinental before moving to Gordon Ramsay at Claridges where Andy spent 5 years, 2 as General Manager. In 2012, Andy joined D&D London as General Manager at The Old Bengal Warehouse. He then spent 3 years at Social Company with Jason Atherton managing City Social. Andy returned to D&D in 2017 as Senior General Manager for 3 venues and became Operations Manager at Park Chinois in February.

BERNARD YEOH

Kai Mayfair

Before moving to London, Bernard Yeoh spent his youth in Malaysia & Singapore collecting fond memories and strong impressions of the Nanyang Chinese food culture which later in life formed the basis of his passion for hospitality. In 1993,
read more he opened Kai Mayfair to bring a ‘Liberated’ style of Nanyang Chinese cuisine to London. After many years of development, Kai Mayfair received its Michelin Star in 2009 and has now held the star from 11 consecutive years. Kai is currently one of only four Chinese restaurants in the UK to have this accolade.
Bernard has also worked a number of external projects including heading the reformulation of the taste profile of Carabao Energy drinks during its global expansion, (sponsors of the Carabao Cup in the UK and Chelsea Football Club) and creating its first sugar-free range. Beyond the hospitality industry, he is an Olympian, representing Malaysia in Olympic Trap shooting."

John Man

China Tang

"Having started his professional life as a technical sales person in Hong Kong, spending several years training at the Agfa Gavaert factory in Antwerp, and eventually moving to the UK to set up a clothing read more manufacturing company, John’s introduction into the hospitality didn’t come till later. His love of food and meeting diverse people led him to join friends operating a restaurant in Battery Park, NYC after selling his clothing manufacturing business. He returned to London to manage a Knightsbridge restaurant, part of an 8 site family chain. Leaving as a Director of the branch, after being involved in menu development, and assisting in setting up parameters for NVQ training at the now defunct school of Oriental cooking as part of Hackney college. An opening in Imperial Wharf later, John joined China Tang as part of the pre opening team in August 2005; his home ever since !"

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