2020 competition

Promoting Hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation. Young Chef Young Waiter is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background.

This renowned competition turned 40 in 2019 and we celebrated with a revamped and revitalised format, fully endorsed by UK Hospitality and the Restaurant Association.

We worked with leading figures from the hospitality industry to find the best young chef and waiter the UK has to offer.

The quality of the entries and the standard of performance of every single finalist in the competition was exceptionally high which meant that selecting the winners was a truly tough decision for our esteemed judges.


We are thrilled to announce that our new partnership with the Department for International Trade, takes Young Chef Young Waiter 2021 to a global audience this year, making it more exciting than ever for our competitors.

Entry is free for young chefs and young waiters who are 26 years old or under on:

Young Chef Young Waiter UK (YCYW UK): 16 November 2021
Young Chef Young Waiter China & South East Asia (YCYW C&SEA): 16 November 2021

Entries close:

Midnight BST Friday 10 September 2021


The 20 UK semi-finalists selected by our expert judges will compete at the Competition Finals in Dubai:

  • Monday 15 November: Semi Final: 10 Chefs and 10 Waiters
  • Tuesday 16 November: Final: 5 Chefs and 5 Waiters
  • Winners will be announced on the stunning UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE on the evening of Tuesday 16 November 2021


It is essential that at the point of entering YCYW online, you ensure that you will be available to take part in the Final Competition in Dubai: including outbound travel to the UAE on Sunday 14 November and inbound travel to the UK on Wednesday 17 November 2021.

Our online entry is a simple 2-step process.

Before you start, we recommend you read the instructions below. It may look like lots of info but we guarantee it will be hugely helpful with your entry.

2020 Competition


The exciting Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 Competition Finals took place in London in 4 locations over 3 days in May 2021. The events had been rescheduled from late 2020 due to the series of UK lockdowns and were run in line with government guidelines.

The Finals: Dates and Venues:

Tuesday 25 May:

  • The Dorchester – UK Chef & Waiter Final
  • Theo Randall @ The InterContinental – UK Chef & Waiter Final
  • Adam Handling Chelsea – UK Chef & Waiter Final

Wednesday 26 May:

  • Kai Mayfair – China & South East Asia Chef & Waiter Final

Thursday 27 May:

  • Kai Mayfair – China & South East Asia Chef & Waiter Final
  • The best young chef and best young waiter Winners will be announced on 28 June at the Awards Party at The Dorchester.

Young chef young waiter 2020

12 young chefs and 13 young waiters were selected to take part in the Competition Finals based on their online entries that captivated our judges.

They participated in the live YCYW United Kingdom and China & South East Asia competitions at 4 London venues on 25, 26 and 27 May 2021.

All 25 Finalists took part in a range of tasks devised by our expert judging panel which includes UK Head chef judge, Theo Randall UK Head waiter judge, Simon King, C&SEA Chair of Judges, Ching He Huang and C&SEA Head waiter judge, Andy Downton

Read more

Watch our YCYW 2019 wrap up video

2019 Competition

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

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.

Read more

In association with

Our Partners and Supporters 2020

Our Sponsers and Partners 2019