Meet the 2020 finalists

Watch our YCYW 2019 wrap up video


The Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which promotes hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation, returns for 2020 with entries now open and the final planned for 17th November. Established in 1979, the competition was relaunched for 2019 by The Nth Degree Global in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association.

The competition will be open to young chefs and waiters under the age of 26 and this year will include those who may be temporarily unable to work or been furloughed from their present roles due to Covid-19. As president of the Restaurant Association and founder of The Nth Degree Global, Robert Walton MBE wanted to ensure that young professionals had the opportunity to shine in the world’s best chef and waiter competition during this unprecedented time

2019 winners

The Young Chef Young Waiter competition found the best young chef and best young waiter across the UK.

Masterchef’s John Torode awarded the 2019 winners, first and second place to the YCYW finalists at Quaglino’s, London on October 29.

Head chef judge Theo Randall announced the successful Young Chefs:

  • Winner – Chef: Richard Henderson, Restaurant Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park
  • Second Place – Chef: Ryan Baker, Northall Restaurant, Corinthia Hotel
  • Third Place – Chef: Lewis Glaister, Bluebird Restaurant, Chelsea

Head waiter judge Simon King announced the successful Young Waiters:

  • Winner – Waiter: Alessandro Calzavacca, Jean-Georges at the Connaught
  • Second Place – Waiter: Salvatore Delle Donne, The Fat Duck
  • Third Place – Waiter: Andrea La Cognata, The Fat Duck

richard henderson

2019 winning chef

alessandro calzavacca

2019 winning waiter

Young chef young waiter 2019

16 young chefs and 16 young waiters were selected based on online entries that captivated our judges.

They participated in the live YCYW competition at Westminster Kingsway College, London.

Semi-Final: Monday 28 October: All 32 took part in a range of tasks devised by our expert judges
Final: Tuesday 29 October: 12 lucky finalists returned to WKC to compete in 6 pairs (1 chef and 1 waiter) taking on exciting challenges to wow the judging panel

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Theo Randall

Head Judge - Chef


Simon King

Head Judge - Waiter

Our inspirational judging panel for 2019 was made up of Claude Bosi, Emily Roux, Jeff Galvin, Clare Smyth MBE, Andy Downton, Johanna Wimmer and other big names in hospitality

See all judges

Finding the best

Young Chef
Young Waiter

Across the UK

Competition awards party

We celebrated the culmination of YCYW 2019 in style at the glittering awards evening held at iconic London restaurant, Quaglino's.

Masterchef’s John Torode led the fabulous festivities to commend the finalists and congratulate the winners and placeholders. Prestigious guests from the world of hospitality made this an unforgettable night of celebration, recognition and fun!

The incredible 2019 prizes include:

First prize for both chef and waiter:

6 day trip to DAOU Family vineyards in California in 2020 including flights and accommodation.
The winning chef will cook at both DAOU venues and the winning waiter will serve and work with the chef and both will enjoy a tour of the vineyard and a Double Magnum of DAOU Family Estate Wine

Second prize for both Chef and Waiter
Nordic cuisine tour accompanied by Arla Pro Head Chef in Copenhagen including flights and accommodation. The second place chef and waiter will enjoy lunch and dinner at the city’s leading Flexitarian restaurants as well as a sensory cheese tasting experience with cheese graders, paired with wines, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.

Third prize for both Chef and Waiter:
A personal at-home wine tasting with a specialist wine expert from The Social Wine Company for 10 people and all wines and glasses supplied

Other prizes include:

  • Mentoring calls with world-renowned chef Thomas Keller for each winner
  • Bottles of Champagne Frerejean Frères for each winner and placeholder
  • Magnums of DAOU Family Estate Wine for each winner and placeholder

History of
Young Chef
Young Waiter

Winners and judges have included some the industry’s great recognisable names– Theo Randall, Mark Sargeant, Marcus Wareing, Simon King, John Torode, Anne and Jamain Swarb, Jeremy King, Raymond Blanc OBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE, The Earl of Bradford and Lord Forte.

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In association with

Our Partners and Supporters 2020

Our Sponsers and Partners 2019