Meet the 12 talented finalist of Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England 2024

London April 2024:Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England proudly announces the finalists for this year’s highly anticipated competition. Heading to the iconic Ascot Racecourse, this prestigious event is set to take place on none other than St. George’s Day, April 23rd, 2024, celebrating the rich heritage and culture of Britain.

YYY England is open to all young hospitality professionals aged 28 years old or under from any background and promises to showcase the brightest talents in the industry. The finalists have been meticulously selected by an esteemed judging panel, from a list of entries from the online application platform. Applicants had to answer a series of questions as well as submitting a video of themselves.

Young Chef Young Waiter was established in 1979 and only operated in England for 42 years. Over the past years, the competition has expanded around the world and is now in its 45th year. Young Mixologist England, organised by YYY and elevated by NEFT Vodka, returns for its third year, further enriching the competition landscape and providing young mixologists with a platform to showcase their craft alongside chefs and waiters.

The Young Chef finalists are:

The Young Waiter Finalists are:

The Young Mixologist Finalists are:

The Chef Judges are: ·      Head Chef Judge, Adam Handling MBE, Adam Handling Restaurant Group·      Mario Perera, Executive Chef at The Dorchester·      Michael Kwan, Executive Pastry Chef at The Dorchester·      Roy Ner, Executive Chef at Jeru·      Ben Duston, The Food Innovation Director for Sodexo Live

The Waiter Judges are:

The Mixologist Judges are:

During the England finals, the panel of Judges will select one chef, one waiter, and one mixologist after they participate in a series of challenges, who will be titled YYY England Champions 2024. Following their triumph, the England winners will head to Singapore for the World Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist World Finals, where they will proudly represent England. They will compete against regional winners from 13 other countries. The winning Young Chef and Young Waiter duo will receive a grand prize of $10,000, while the Young Mixologist champion will be awarded $5,000.

This year’s finalists, judges and organisers are set to meet on 22nd April for a “Welcome Day” at the Ascot Racecourse. Here the finalists will be grouped into their trios for the competition day and briefed on their tasks, they will then have a crucial one-hour window to collaboratively strategies and plan their challenges. As the day unfolds, the excitement continues with a delightful welcome dinner at the elegant Coworth Park. The main event will take place on April 23rd at the Ascot Racecourse, where participants will showcase their skills a compete for the winning title. The day will end with an awards ceremony, where the winners will be announced. 

Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England are proudly supported by NEFT Vodka, Great Campaign, Champagne PIAFF, Culinary Institute of America, Ascot, The Caterer, Wine&Earth, Really Social, Coworth park, Sodexo Live, Thermomix and Travis Mathew.


Robert Walton MBE, YYY Chairman said: “”As Chairman of the event, I am thrilled to witness the evolution of our competition, nurturing, and showcasing the passion, skills, and dedication of the next generation of hospitality professionals. Each year, YYY provides an unparalleled platform for young talents to excel, learn, and network, defining their careers in an ever-evolving industry.”

Paul Robinson, Chief Creative Officer at NEFT Vodka said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with the talented finalists who have been chosen for the Young Mixologist England 2024 competition. These artists are the future of hospitality so it will be exciting to see the creations they bring to the table.”

Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director at Sodexo Live! UK and Ireland, said: “I am delighted to join the chef judging panel and look forward to seeing the talent that comes through the competition this year. Innovation is at our core at Sodexo Live! so I cannot wait to see what ideas and creations come out of the competition. All the competitors are in for an action-packed few day, and to be in the world-famous setting of Ascot Racecourse, will be a real highlight for them all at such an early stage of their careers.”

Johanna Wimmer, L&D Consultant said: “This competition is close to my heart as it helps to nurture and develop future generations of our amazing industry and from a personal note having won it a few (quite a few) years ago, I know how it can inspire a career.

It gives the candidates the opportunity to showcase their passion, skills, and knowledge; it also creates an environment to learn and network with their peers.”

Simon King, Operations Director for The Wolseley group said: “It’s always exciting starting a new year of the YCYW competition, I’m really looking forward to seeing this year’s competitors with their skill, passion, and enthusiasm for their profession.

‘I’ve been involved in YYY for over 20 years, ever since I won it in 2000. This competition has evolved so much in that time, it’s now more relevant, more educational, and so inspiring for all involved as we look to showcase and connect stars of the future. The fact that it has now become a global competition which is quite incredible and is more than ever a career defining opportunity.

Hospitality is a team sport, and the essence of this competition is how the chef, waiter and mixologist work together to deliver and exceptional experience just like you would do in your place of work. This is what makes the YCYW & YM competition so unique.”

George Hersey, Restaurant director, Adam Handling Restaurant Group said: “Every year this competition gets fiercer, and I can’t wait to see these hospitality stars showcase their talent.

I want to showcase careers in hospitality as something incredible, the variety of roles that people can have and the amazing journey it can take you on.

This competition celebrates the best of the best in young talent and spreads the hospitality love all over the world.”

Andy Downton, Founder of Burnt Chocolate Constancy and YYY Competition director said: “I am really excited for the upcoming YYY England final 2024, I can’t wait to see what great talents we unearth this year, the standard seems to improve every year and it gets harder each year to crown the winners, this year we have included a few new challenges which will add further excitement to the competition, it’s going to be a very exciting final, so watch this space.

The competition attracts entries from all over the UK and we openly encourage anyone to enter, all entries have the opportunity to develop in areas such as personal growth, skill development, education & networking whilst also receiving exposure, recognition, motivation, inspiration, mentoring & heighten future career opportunities.

I’m extremely proud of being involved in World YCYW as it allows me to give back to the industry that I love, it allows me to teach, support, guide & nurture the next generation of culinary & hospitality talent and also celebrate excellence at the same time.”

Adam Handling MBE of Adam Handling Restaurant Group said: “YYY is such an important competition, and I can’t wait to see what the contestants will bring this year. This competition encourages the next generation of enthusiastic young talent in hospitality roles and pushes them to be the best that they can be. The restaurant world is changing and YCYW is there to help them evolve and adapt, nurturing the exciting and fresh talent they already bring.”

Eleonora Biason, Deputy Restaurant Manager at The Emory said: “Mixology is where innovation seamlessly intertwines with the art of flavours. I’m thrilled to witness these young talents sharing their passion and pushing the boundaries of their skills. A competition like Young Mixologist is profoundly motivating for the hospitality industry, inspiring the new generation of bartenders even further. I look forward to taste extraordinary cocktails!”

Chef Roy Ner, Jeru, Mayfair said: “The Young Chef Young Waiter competition is incredibly important to me, as I spent most of my life growing up and being immersed in the hospitality industry and our global family. It’s an honour to serve as a judge for this world-class competition and watch the new generation of talent really push the boundaries and showcase their skills.  It makes me very proud to be a part of it and I wish each and every contestant the best of luck.”

Laura Head, Director of Champagne PIAFF said: “On behalf of Champagne PIAFF, I’m delighted that we are involved in YYY England. Supporting the future of hospitality is so important, after all it’s this next generation who will be the faces of industry in years to come! Champagne PIAFF is here to Make Life Pop and it’s so refreshing to be working alongside young talent. We’re excited to see how they incorporate our champagne into their dishes, it be really interesting to see what fresh spin they can put on classic pairings. We’re thrilled to help educate the young waiters in readiness for their champagne tasks and looking forward to what will be a fantastic competition.”

About YM

The Young Mixologist competition elevated by NEFT Vodka further promotes hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. The Young Mixologist competition aims to acknowledge young and outstanding talents behind the bar in the hospitality industry. In today’s restaurant scene, mixologists have become the new rockstars. Crafting fabulous cocktails, making exquisite food, and providing excellent service are the keys to success. The Young Mixologist competition designed for individuals aged 28 and younger, aims to recognise the talent and expertise required to craft exceptional cocktails.

The Young Mixologist competition started in 2022 in Monaco and now in 2023 has taken place in 4 countries around the world. In 2024, the YM competition is expanding to more countries around the world giving more opportunities to the many outstanding talents in the hospitality industry. Celebrating the extraordinary young talent who push the boundaries of mixology and elevate cocktail-making to new heights.

About YYY      

Since its establishment in 1979, the Young Chef Young Waiter competition has continued to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and a vocation. Today, with its new revitalised format Young Chef Young Waiter continues to honour the next culinary and service stars globally. World Young Chef Young Waiter, in partnership with Great Campaign UK and Northern Ireland and the Culinary Institute of America, mission to discover the best young talents in the industry. The competition is open to Young Chefs and waiters under the age of 28 from diverse backgrounds and WYCYW ensures these young talents are equipped with relevant skills, current knowledge, and a network to help them succeed in the world of hospitality.

In 2022, the competition marked a significant milestone by expanding its reach to a global audience, with participants from seven countries striving for the title of World Young Chef Young Waiter Champion. Building on this success, the competition returned in 2023, reaffirming its commitment to supporting the global hospitality industry and providing an expansive stage for the cultivation of creativity, education, and innovation that knows no geographical bounds, the event promises to surpass all previous iterations in size, quality, and sustainability.

Notes to editors:

The World Young Chef Young Waiter competition, established in 1979 in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association. The competition promotes hospitality as a career of choice, a profession, and an avocation. The competition is open to all young chefs and waiters from any background under the age of 28.

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Editors’ Note:

The GREAT Britain & Northern Ireland campaign is a programme to drive economic growth across the nation by encouraging an international audience to visit, study and do business with the UK. It was set up in 2011 and promotes the best of the UK in 164 countries around the world, consistently generating a strong return on investment averaging 15.1. @greatbritain (Twitter) @greatcampaign (Instagram)

26th April 2024

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