Chefs preparing food

About Young Chef Young Waiter Of The Year

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

Blending a 40 year heritage with an exciting new format, we’re bringing back YCYW bigger, better and more interactive than ever. And we want you to be part of it!

Meet high profile industry professionals, learn new skills, make new friends at a competition like no other.
Our expert judges will select the UK’s top young chefs and front of house professionals for the national finals in London where you will demonstrate your skills at the exciting live competition.

Being part of the Young Chef Young Waiter of the Year is a once in a lifetime experience. A chance to test your skills and progress your career whilst learning, building new relationships and developing your potential.
And most of all, Young Chef Young Waiter is fantastic fun!

The aim of Young Chef Young Waiter is simple: to uncover the very best young talent in our industry as we help equip them with relevant skills, current knowledge and the network needed to succeed in the world of hospitality.

Devised by previous winners and young professionals, the competition will have a fresh modern approach focussing on criteria and tasks that are challenging, educational and fun.

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

You are leaders of the future. It’s your incredible talent YCYW will celebrate.

Testimonials

Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton

The Social Company

I'm so pleased to be involved in this year's Young Chef Young Waiter and to help promote the hospitality industry to young people. It's fast-paced and hectic but a rewarding, exciting industry to be a part of and this competition is a great way for young people to start out.

Clare Smyth MBE

Clare Smyth

CORE BY CLARE SMYTH

This program is all about education and raising the skill levels in both chefs and waiters. It is an opportunity for young professionals to meet and learn from some of the best in the industry. It is important to shine a spotlight on our industry to show what a great career path it is and what the opportunities are within it. We need to attract more talent along with encouraging the talent we already have.

Emily Roux, Chef Judge

Emily Roux

Caractère

Without the passion and determination of young chefs and young waiters there would be no future for our industry. There's nothing quite like working in hospitality and to succeed you have to have a certain level of grit and ambition. This competition gives young talent the opportunity to stand out amongst the others and prove what an exciting and special industry ours is to work in.

Tom Aikens Chef Judge

Tom Aikens

Tom's Kitchen

The Young Chef Young Waiter is one of the most respected competitions in the country and one that helps to highlight the very best of homegrown talent we have in this industry. It brings together the very best that we have working across the whole of the UK in our restaurants and hotels. It’s a fantastic way to showcase our future shining stars that can in turn help to attract the next generation of chefs and waiters into this amazing industry of ours. This is a competition that nurtures, educates and guides them onto their own career paths and most importantly to standing proudly on their own two feet.

Simon King, Head Judge Waiter

Simon King

JKS Restaurants

For me being the head judge for YCYW is very special, it's a completion of my journey as I was fortunate enough to win the competition in 2000. I still remember how it felt, who I competed with and what I learnt about myself. The new revitalised format will be more relevant, engaging, fun and educational; reflecting the modern challenges young professionals now face and showcase the breath of skill and talent they now need to excel in this industry. I cannot wait until October to meet all the finalists and I know the same applies with the many industry leaders who will be enthusiastically sharing their knowledge, passion and knowhow with all involved.

Robert Walton MBE

Robert Walton MBE

Nth Degree

As the past Chairman of the competition from 2006 to 2012, I'm delighted to relaunch the Young Chef Young Waiter concept and give a new generation a fantastic opportunity to excel in the hospitality industry. The revamped competition will have an X Factor style to it so contestants can demonstrate their best work and passion for their vocation. I'm excited to partner with UK Hospitality and the Restaurant Association for the 40th anniversary of the competition and we have Magnum, Arla Pro and the Cayman Islands as our title sponsors. I've recruited the best people in the hospitality industry so our roster of judges includes Claude Bosi, Emily Roux, Jeff Galvin, Andy Downton, Johanna Wimmer. The final in October is sure to be a star-studded affair to celebrate this prestigious occasion.

Andy Downton, Waiter Judge

Andy Downton

Park Chinois

When I first moved to London I didn't know too much about the restaurant world, the massive part it would play in my life and what a great career it could be. By working hard and having the correct guidance anyone can achieve their goals. Now it's my turn to give back to the next generation and help showcase the great industry we work in.

Jennifer Santner, Waiter Judge

Jennifer Santner

Angler

Entering competitions such as YCYW has developed me personally and professionally and has pushed my career to the next level. It is a great opportunity for young talents to stand out and show others what an exciting industry we work in. This competition is all about education and learning from other young professionals whilst working alongside the legends of our industry.

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