Established in 1979, the World Young Chef Young Waiter competition is organised by the team at world Young Chef Young Waiter in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association.
The aim is to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. The competition is open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background under the age of 28.
The competition combines over 44 years of heritage with a modern format including digital entries and a live final held over one day.
In 2021, Young Chef Young Waiter announced a partnership with the Department for International Trade, which took the competition to a global audience, making it more exciting than ever for our competitors. The 20 UK semi-finalists competed at the final in Dubai with the winners being announced on the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020.
For 2022, the World Young Chef Young Waiter competition launched in March and the final for World Young Chef Young Waiter England was held in Birmingham in July. The winners went on to compete in the World Final in November at The Maybourne Riviera, Monaco.
In July 2022, our finalists took part in several tasks across the two-day final held at University College Birmingham, where chefs cooked a three-course meal on the first day using products from Arla Pro and used a Thermomix to complete elements on their dishes. Waiters completed tasks including a cocktail mixing challenge run by The London Essence Co, a Champagne pouring task set by Champagne Frerejean Frères and an epos challenge designed by KuulEats. For the second day, our four successful chefs were paired up with the waiter finalists to cook and serve a three-course meal for VIP guests at the University College Birmingham.
Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Chef Judge Adam Handling said: “The final this year was very exciting and Miltan is a very worthy winner of the competition. He was in first place at the semi-final round as well, so he has been consistent across the two days of the competition. The great thing about Miltan, and all the semi-finalists, is that they all improved from the semi-finals both individually and in the way that they work. The World Young Chef Young Waiter competition isn’t about who wins, it’s about who has grown the most. I’m looking forward to seeing Miltan representing England at the World Final in Monaco to shine a spotlight on the young talent in the hospitality industry.”
Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Waiter Judge Simon King said: “Our waiter winner Elisa displayed an all-round ability in the final competition. She is naturally engaging, has wonderful charisma and really sees the bigger picture, looking far beyond her own table.”
The judges were also impressed with our second and third placed winners. Alex has great energy, is natural and humble. He’s someone who is always striving to do his best and has a very bright future ahead of him. Our third placed waiter Daniel is passionate, personable, and authentic.”
For 2023, the Young Chef Young Waiter England competition took place at the University College Birmingham for a one-day final on Tuesday 4th July where 5 Chefs, 5 Waiters and 3 Mixologists battled it out for the title of YCYW England Winners.
Young Chef Young Waiter England was launched again for 2023 to extend the competition around the globe. The Chef & Waiter duo from each country will join for a World Final that will take place in Monaco from 23rd – 24th November and will see the World Champions win a cash prize of $10,000.
Young Chef Young Waiter England Competition:
The World Champions will win a cash prize of $10,000 for 2023.
WHY ENTER WORLD YOUNG CHEF YOUNG WAITER
Our 2023 entrants have had the opportunity to meet high profile industry professionals, learn new skills and make new friends at a competition like no other.
Being part of World Young Chef Young Waiter is a once in a lifetime experience. A chance for competitors to test their proficiency and progress their careers while learning, building new relationships and developing their potential and most of all, Young Chef Young Waiter is fantastic fun!
The aim of World Young Chef Young Waiter 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 focuses on tasks and criteria that are challenging, educational and fun.
World 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.
Many past winners have gone on to achieve huge success in hospitality and YCYW proudly supports the future stars in Britain’s kitchens and restaurants. Winners, finalists and judges have included some the industry’s great recognisable names to include – Mark Sargeant, Lisa Goodwin-Allen, Marcus Wareing, Simon King, John Torode, Annie and Germain Schwab, Jeremy King, Raymond Blanc OBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE, The Earl of Bradford, Lord Forte, Angela Hartnett MBE, Simon Girling, Johanna Wimmer and Fred Sirieix.
WORLD YOUNG CHEF YOUNG WAITER ENGLAND JUDGES
Our judges include leading figures from the hospitality industry. The judging panel for World Young Chef Young Waiter England includes our Head Chef Judge Adam Handling and Head Waiter Judge Simon King along with Jason Atherton, Tom Kerridge, Claude Bosi, Emily Roux, Tom Aikens, Jeff and Chris Galvin, Andy Downton, Brian Turner CBE, Theo Randall, Mario Perera, Johanna Wimmer, Merlin Labron-Johnson, Sanjay Dwivedi, Ruth Hansom, John Williams, Ollie Dabbous, Matthew Ryle, Adam Simmonds, Dimi Leivadas, Jennifer Santner, James Fleming, Beatrice Bessi, Andrew McKenzie, Dimitri Bellos, Jonno Forbes, Saravanan Palanipandichamy, Luigi Cagnin and Antonio Salvatore.
Adam Handling Restaurant Group
His Flagship Restaurant, Frog has gained Michelin stars two years consecutively; he has cooked for Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II; he’s the author of three recipe books; and he regularly makes appearances on radio and television. read more Notably, winning the Great British Menu three times, where he was recently crowned champion of champions in 2023, he has also been a regular judge on the popular BBC series. A highly accomplished Chef, Adam Handling’s beautifully presented modern British dishes start with careful sourcing of top quality, seasonal ingredients, prepared in a number of different, creative ways to enhance their inherent properties and deliver real depth of flavour and harmony whilst maintaining a firm commitment to sustainability. restaurants; gained Michelin stars; he has cooked for Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II; he’s the author of two recipe books; and he regularly makes appearances on radio and television. Notably, winning the Great British Menu three times, he has also been a regular judge on the popular BBC series.
CORE by Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth is the first and only female chef to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK. Her restaurant, Core opened in 2017 and has received unprecedented awards in its first year
including two stars in the 2019 Michelin Guide, 10/10 in the Good Food Guide and 5/5 AA Rosettes.
Ross, then 24, returned to Ireland in 1990 as Head Chef at the legendary Old Dublin restaurant. In 1993 he took the opportunity, with Martin Corbett, of setting up Chapter One in the space below the Irish Writers’ Museum – formerly the home of John Jameson, the whiskey maker – on Parnell Square, in what was then a rather gritty part of central Dublin. Thanks to a relentless focus on customer care and a commitment to creating dishes that reflect the best of Irish food and producers, it has enjoyed a loyal following ever since.
El Bullí, Ferran Adrià’s iconic restaurant in Spain, further inspired him to refine his cooking. As well as holding a Michelin star since 2007, Chapter One has won countless awards including the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s award for Best Restaurant in Ireland eight times, the most recent being for 2017.
Ross has been a member of Eurotoques since 1992 and served three years as Commissioner General. He has been a member of the Taste Council of Ireland since its inception October 2003. In 2011, he was the head chef for the only State Banquet to be held during Queen Elizabeth II’s State Visit to Ireland. He is a passionate advocate of Irish food and food producers, and in 2015 published the book Chapter One: An Irish Food Story (Gill Books), edited by Ross Golden-Bannon.
It is Ross’ quest to reflect Ireland’s landscape, craftspeople and artists in everything he does at Chapter One, not just in the food, but in the art, design and crafts he commissions, including the ongoing Project Art, showcasing work by young Irish artists. He is also a firm supporter of the Food on the Edge conference, which since 2015 has been bringing together leading chefs and food producers from all over the world to explore the future of food.
Chapter One has won many awards and accolades, as has its chef-proprietor, including the Mike Butt lifetime achievement award in 2018, a leadership award from Chef Network Ireland in 2019 and, also in 2019, an Alumni Achievement Award from University College Cork.
The Social Company
Jason Atherton launched his flagship London restaurant, Pollen Street Social in April 2011, which was awarded a coveted Michelin star within six read more months of opening. Since then, Jason's 'The Social Company' has grown into a globally renowned restaurant group, with 16 establishments worldwide including 4 that have been awarded Michelin stars.
Executive Head Chef for Amadeus at the ICC
Simon has built quite a career. From working in some of Birmingham’s top restaurants to travelling the world while working in the high-end kitchens for some of the world’s
Simon’s has trail blazed and consistently pushed boundaries on the event culinary scene to ensure the ICC is recognised as an industry leader in conference and banqueting catering. He has pioneered restaurant quality food, served up in a large-scale event environment. Ensuring that no matter how big, or small your event is, guests will be wowed by the food.
top cruise liners. However, since 1991 the ICC has been his home.
As part of the opening team at the ICC, Simon started as Deputy Head Chef and in 2011 became Executive Head Chef. Since Simon has taken the reigns of the kitchen, he has been leading his brigade of chefs to be customer focussed and innovative to deliver beyond expectations and giving guests an experience to remember! Simons ensures he maintains close relationships with his suppliers and knows where his ingredients come from. Reducing food miles by buying locally when planning menus has always been a passion and in recent years has taken further action to ensure his kitchens have a minimal impact on the environment.
The Chefs food immersion plan has escalated into the introduction of food theatre! This means dishes are prepared and cooked in front of the guests, creating an additional air of anticipation and excitement to the event. As well as creating talking points, it gives guests a chance to learn more about the sourcing, quality, freshness of what they are eating. Of course, actually meeting the amazing talent that cooks up their meal is a highlight.
Executive Chef at The Dorchester
Mario Perera moved from Sri Lanka to London in 1995 to take up the role of commis chef at The Dorchester and progressing through the ranks, before moving on after 15 years to be part of the reopening team for Four Seasons Park Lane. read more He returned to The Dorchester in 2017 as executive sous chef. Before coming to London, Mario was part of the culinary team at the five-star Hotel Taj Samudra Colombo Sri Lanka where he developed his skill in banqueting, overseeing the menu planning and organization of events hosting up to 2,000 guests. In his new role as executive chef, Mario oversees the brigade of more than 100 chefs within The Dorchester’s six kitchens serving: The Grill, The Promenade, The Bar, Private Dining & Events, in-room dining and The Spatisserie at The Dorchester Spa. Mario has used his culinary expertise and influence on cooking for HM Queen Elizabeth II at several state banquets at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and at The Dorchester.
Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester
Michael Kwan is a multiple award-winning pastry master and executive pastry chef at The Dorchester, London. Michael’s won the UK pastry team European Cup 2022, which qualifies him to take part in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie 2023 final in Lyon. read more Michael was also the winner of the 2020 UK Pastry Open and the 2019 UK Sugar Championships. His expertise has managed to push through the fierce competition and see Michael year on year excel in his highly extinguished field of work. Michael started his career by helping in his uncle’s restaurant in Hong Kong when he was just 14 years-old, this is where Michael’s inspiration and passion came to start studying hospitality and catering, since then he’s never looked back.
SENIOR SOUS CHEF - HOLBORN DINING ROOM & HEAD PIE MAKER – THE PIE ROOM
Initially educated at Durban University of Technology in South Africa, Nokuthula Majozi, or Nokx as she is known, began her culinary career at the 4-star Riverside Hotel in Durban. Shortly afterwards, she moved to London to take on the role of Demi Chef at the Intercontinental Hotel Park Lane, where she stayed for 2 years.
Nokx’s love for working in luxury hotels continued, as she joined The Landmark as Chef de Partie, and over the course of 5 years she honed her craft and worked her way up the ranks, departing as Senior Chef de Partie. After two years working as Senior Chef de Partie at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, she joined the team at Rosewood London in May 2014 where she currently works as Senior Sous Chef and Head Pie Maker.
Outside of kitchen parameters, Nokx works closely with Women in Hospitality, an organisation that supports and fosters the career development of women in the hospitality industry. She is particularly passionate about bringing women to the forefront of the chef industry, by encouraging and supporting those starting their careers by organising networking events and workshops. Within Holborn Dining Room, Nokx leads many training sessions for her fellow chefs, acting as a mentor for her colleagues in order to push them to strive for more.
Nokx hopes to continue using her position at Rosewood London as a force for change within the hospitality industry, encouraging other women to be ambitious in their goals as chefs and empowering them in the kitchen.
Simon’s career started at Amberley Castle, a Small Luxury House hotel. After completing his HND in Hospitality Management, he moved to London. read more While working at The Ritz he won 'Young Waiter of the Year’ 2000'. In 2001 Simon joined Gordon Ramsay, managing his flagship restaurant at Royal Hospital Road and opened the Savoy Grill with Marcus Wareing. He worked with Heston Blumenthal as Operations Manager for the Fat Duck Group on projects including the launch of Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental. In October 2014 moved to New York, working for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, managing the Modern. March 2018 saw Simon return to London as Operations Director for JKS, overseeing their 16 sites. Simon now runs his own business Igniting Hospitality where he shares his knowledge and experiences advising, inspiring and helping other businesses fulfil their potential.
Founder Burnt Chocolate Consultancy
Andy Downton is the Owner & Founder of Burnt Chocolate Consultancy. In 2003 Andy moved to London, progressing to Head Waiter for Marcus Waring at the Savoy Grill. In November 2006, read more he became assistant restaurant manager for the launch of Theo Randall 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 the Social Company with Jason Atherton managing City Social. Andy returned to D&D in 2017 as Senior General Manager for 3 venues before becoming Operations Manager at Park Chinois. In 2022 he launched his own restaurant consultancy business using his expertise & knowledge to help restaurants grow & develop to their full potential.
The Ivy Collection
Hospitality runs through Johanna’s veins, selling cakes and coffees from a young age at her uncle’s coffee shop in Austria. In 2000, she established her love for London at Anton Mosimann’s read more private dining club. Whilst there, Johanna won the Young Waiter award in 2002, before joining Jason Atherton for the opening of Maze in 2005. Johanna’s passion for development and training fully evolved when she joined Westminster Kingsway College as a lecturer in 2007 where she trained students on the art of service and hospitality. In 2015, Johanna joined The Ivy Collection as part of the people and training team. Here, she plays a vital role in staff training, assisting ahead of all openings and ensuring team members are moving ahead in their careers.
The London Edition
Anne Lomas, Director of Food and Beverage at The London Edition, oversees all aspects and operations of the hotel’s food & beverage programme. Lomas has a wealth of experience having previously held the position of Director of Restaurants at The Savoy, overseeing several outlets and departments including the relaunch of the prestigious Simpson’s on the Strand. read more Anne began working in hospitality by chance aged eighteen; whilst travelling in New Zealand. Following this, Anne moved to London where her work experience includes Roast, 45 Park Lane, Shangri-La, and Simpson’s in the Strand. During her role as General Manager at Simpson’s in the Strand, Anne saw this rich-in-history establishment through a full refurbishment, and drove the restaurant to be the successful and well-loved culinary landmark it is today.
General Manager for Amadeus at the ICC Birmingham.
At one of Europe’s leading conference venues the ICC Birmingham, Craig leads his busy team, providing award winning catering to more read more than 350 events each year. From high profile events such as the Conservative Party Conference and international conferences to small meetings for just a few people and many banqueting events, it is fair to say that Craig has to cater for a variation of guests is passionate that whatever takes you to the ICC food will be the one thing you remember!