In November 2023, Monaco will welcome 22 World Finalists comprising of nine Young Chefs, nine Young Waiters and four Young Mixologists. The prestigious event will take place at the iconic Lycée Rainier lll, where each competing country will try and win the World Young Chef Young Waiter title.
The heart of the competition is to showcase the Young Chefs and Waiters’ exceptional skills, creativity, and passion for hospitality. The prestige culinary competition is a grand celebration of gastronomy and hospitality, where diverse culinary traditions and services are showcased. YCYW pays tribute and celebrates each country’s culture and traditions throughout the competition and through the flag-waving ceremony called the ‘Hospitality Olympics’.
Our nine chefs and nine waiters will design a winning menu and serve their national dishes to an array of guests from all corners of the hospitality world and an internationally acclaimed judging panel including Michelin-starred Head Chef Judge Adam Handling, Paul Walsh, Executive Chef at City Social, Mario Perera, Executive Chef at The Dorchester, Simon King, Igniting Hospitality and Andy Downton, Burnt Chocolate Consultancy alongside other hospitality experts who assisted with the overseeing of the competition..
Our four Young Mixologists will compete for the title of Young Mixologist 2023 which is elevated by NEFT Vodka. This challenge is not just about mixing drinks but for Young Mixologists to express their creativity and showcase their imagination and innovation. The judging panel includes Anna Sebastian, Founder of Celebrates Her and Hospitality Consultant and Yann Bouvignies, Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology and Bar Development for Scarfs Bar.
The winners of the World Young Chef Young Waiter Competition 2023 will be announced at a special awards dinner in Monaco on the evening of the 24th of November at the Salle Empire of Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
World Young Chef Young Waiter is proud to announce that we will be continuing supporting the hospitality industry with young professionals 28 years and younger in 2024.
Our four global Mixologist finalists will participate in a special cocktail challenge ran elevated NEFT Vodka. As part of their tasks for the competition day, the four waiters must create a NEFT Vodka-based cocktail that expresses their personality, culture and/or an memorable experiences in their hospitality career. They have to be imaginative, creative, and innovative, showing their personal flare within a cocktail.
Chef Owner of 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; read more he’s the author of three recipe books; and he regularly makes appearances on radio and television. 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.
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 read more before moving on after 15 years to be part of the reopening team for Four Seasons Park Lane. 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. read more 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. 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.
Chef Patron of Brassier MS
Born in the picturesque Kentish countryside, chef and restaurateur, Mark Sargeant, is a former protege of Gordon Ramsay and was his right-hand man for 13 years.
Sargeant first joined Ramsay at Aubergine in 1997 before spending three years as Sous Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea which was awarded three Michelin stars in 2001. He then opened Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's and was head chef when the restaurant was awarded its Michelin star in 2002, the same year Sargeant won the prestigious National Chef of the Year award. Sargent was instrumental in overseeing the opening of Ramsay’s three London pubs, including The Narrow, The Warrington, The Devonshire and The Foxtrot Oscar as well as co-writing Ramsay's 12 cook books and assisting with the production of his TV work.
Departing Ramsay’s restaurant empire in 2009, Sargeant joined the Swan Collection as Creative Director; released his own cookery book, ‘My Kind of Cooking’ and then in 2011 he decided to return to his Kentish roots, beginning an exciting solo career as chef and restaurateur with the energy, enthusiasm and ambition to transform Folkestone into the next Padstow.
Opening two restaurants, Rocksalt and Smokehouse, Sargeant’s respect and love for the best seasonal produce from local suppliers, farms and producers, combined
with his Michelin background, soon turned them into foodie destinations for locals and tourist alike, followed by Wife of Bath in Wye and The Duke William in Ickham in 2015.
Always believing in serving classic dishes that diners love, Rocksalt was soon winning awards and was listed in Restaurant Magazine’s Top 100 UK Restaurants 2013; Best Restaurant in Kent 2014, Top 5 Best Rest Restaurants By The Sea in The Times, two AA Rosettes and four AA stars.
Executive Chef at Twiga Monte-Carlo
Born in Rome on November 14th 1977, embarked on his journey at the age of fourteen by attending Fiuggi's hotel school while simultaneously working in various restaurants including the Relais les Jardin, two Michelin Stars, under Maestro Antonio Sciullo's mentorship.
He gained different opportunities such as working at Chateaux of Rochegoude and Hotellerie Les Frenes in Montfavet during summers, where he mastered foundational French culinary techniques.
After graduating, Emanuele decided to move abroad to broaden his culinary skills.
He spent six months in Malaysia, two and a half years in California and another six months in London.
Upon returning to Italy, he engaged with multiple culinary schools, imparting his expertise to train aspiring professionals in the industry. This educational pursuit remains an ongoing commitment in his career.
Six years ago, Emanuele moved to Monaco, where he currently serves as the Executive Chef of Twiga, overseeing not only its culinary operations, but also spearheading new global ventures for the company.
Throughout his professional journey, Emanuele has blended his work with his passion infusing each dish with his deep love for the craft.
He skilfully marries exotic elements with tradition placing a strong emphasis on sourcing exceptional raw ingredients.
Executive Chef at City Social
January 2022: Originally from Aldershot in Hampshire, Paul Walsh has spent the past two decades working alongside many of the UK’s most respected and well-known talents in some of London’s most demanding kitchens.
Paul began his training with a catering course at Westminster Kingsway College. His first role, in 2000, was as a Commis Chef at the Savoy Hotel under Anton Edelmann, where he stayed for two and a half years and worked his way up to Chef de Partie. From there, Paul moved to the Savoy Grill when it reopened under the direction of Marcus Wareing, helping it to achieve its first Michelin star in its 100-year history. Here he was promoted to Junior Sous Chef.
In 2005, Paul moved to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, where he was to spend five years and climb the ranks to Senior Sous Chef. During this time, he worked with some of the biggest names from the Ramsay stable, including Simone Zanoni, Mark Askew and Clare Smyth. Paul was one of the longest serving chefs in this challenging environment, and credits it with shaping the way he cooks today.
In June 2010, Paul left Gordon Ramsay Holdings to launch the first 28-50 Wine Workshop and Kitchen, a venture from Icelandic chef Agnar Sverrisson and French master sommelier Xavier Rousset. Paul launched two further 28-50 sites before leaving to work with Jason Atherton, taking the executive chef position at City Social in April 2014. Six months after opening, City Social was awarded a coveted Michelin star in the 2015 Michelin Guide.
In September 2019, Paul moved from City Social to head up Jason’s latest restaurant, The Betterment at The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR Hotels & Resorts, which relaunched as Café Biltmore Restaurant and Terrace in 2021. The once fine-dining restaurant pivoted to an elevated casual offering, with menus featuring seasonally driven dishes of wood-fired fish and meats, fresh seafood, signature salads and inventive side dishes. Paul and his team also oversee the food and beverage for the hotel’s other offerings – The Tea Lounge and The Pine Bar with Afternoon Tea and Brunch offerings.
In 2022, Paul returned to City Social as Executive Chef
CHEF DES EVENTS AU YACHT CLUB MONACO
Simon Ganache is the Head of Events at the Yacht Club De Monaco, since the spring of 2019. Prior to this Simon served his time at the Fairmont Monte Carlo, Monaco, with Executive Chef Philippe Joannes.
His duties during this period included responsibility for banqueting and private dining, menu implementation, scheduling management and food safety system management.
To these positions Simon has brought a wealth of experience from other establishments including Maison LENOTRE - Côte d’Azur, 1* Le Fer Rouge, La Cuisine Bourgeoise in Versailles and at Brasserie de ‘Est Paul Bocuse in Lyon, to name but a few.
Simon understands the importance of culinary and hospitality competitions and specifically the Young Chef Young Waiter competition, for ongoing development.
He has many accolades himself including, in the early years, Finalist at the best apprentices of France, Winner of the 2008 Jean Delaveyne Trophy by achieving 1st prize for starter and dessert and best working method and organisation.
This year Simon was a semi-finalist in the competition ‘One of the best workers in France 2022, in Thonon les Bains.
CHEF DE CUISINE PALAIS PRINCIER DE MONACO
It has been 35 years since Christian GARCIA entered the service of SAS Le Prince RAINIER III and the GRIMALDI Family.
Born in Bourges on May 23, 1963, this Frenchman by birth feels Monegasque at heart for his love of the Principality and the Princely Family. read more His training at the Lycée Hôtelier de Monaco opened the doors to the most Grand Palaces in the Principality, such as the Monte-Carlo Beach and the Hôtel Hermitage.
In 1987, after five years spent at the Hôtel de Paris, he was asked to replace him by the Prince's Palace for a period of seven months. He never left it.
Christian GARCIA became in 2004, the Head of Kitchens of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Then in 2007, he was elected President of the Prestigious Club of Heads of Heads of State, founded by Gilles Bragard in 1977, in Collonges au Mont d'Or, at Paul Bocuse.
This association brings together all the Chefs de Cuisine of Heads of State from all over the world such as the Elysée in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, the White House in Washington.
Christian GARCIA is Knight of the Order of Grimaldi, Knight of Arts and Letters, member of the Culinary Academy, of the Disciples of Escoffier and of the Grand Cordon d'Or de la Cuisine Française.
He is present and participates in many charity events throughout the year all over the planet supported by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
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.
Burnt Chocolate Consultancy
ndy 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. read more In November 2006, 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.
University Wales Trintiy Saint
Jayne has over 30 years of senior management experience within private enterprise, corporate, third sector and Government organisations, and her current role is Programme Manager for several courses at University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Possessing a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Jayne has worked successfully as a Chef patron and restaurateur. She continues off-campus activity within the wine and champagne industry, including consultation, project management and support to Food & Beverage operators, as well as working with interesting and biodiverse producers to offer tailor-made tasting experiences.
As an experienced Chartered Marketer, she assists producers in gaining excellent exposure for their products, and holds qualifications in wine tourism that help achieve the best experiences at the cave or cuverie.
As chair of judges and organiser of World Young Chef Young Waiter Wales on behalf of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Jayne is instrumental in the competition’s organisation and support. She does this whilst working with industry colleagues to help young people develop and progress in their careers and share their talent with the help of industry leaders.
Restaurant Director of Adam Handlings Restaurant Group
MAJESTAS BEVERAGE DIRECTOR
Daniele Giovinazzo was born in Genoa on November 15th 1978. His journey in hospitality began as a university student working as a waiter.
Progressing from waiter to bartender, he honed his skills in AIBES, Flair, and mixology.
In 2004, he co-founded Galeria Gastronomica in Barcelona, a unique fusion of restaurant, bar, and art gallery.
Driven by wanderlust, he embarked on seasonal work in Spain and Greece.
In 2010, he joined Costa Allegra as Assistant Bar Manager, later becoming Bar Manager.
He pursued a Master's in Restaurant Management at ALMA, followed by a role as Food and Beverage Manager at a prestigious Florence hotel.
Returning to Costa Cruises, he became Assistant Food and Beverage Director, showcased bartending on National Geographic's "Artists of Taste," and assumed the role of Corporate Traveling Beverage Manager.
In 2020, he transitioned to MSC Cruises as Corporate Traveling Beverage Manager, overseeing 23 ships.
From March 1st 2023, he has been the Beverage Director at Twiga, expanding to the Majestas Group in September, covering Twiga, Billionaire, and Crazy Pizza.
His career thrives on a passion for hospitality, travel, and connecting with people worldwide.
Founder of Celebrates Her and Hospitality
London based Anna Sebastian set up her own consultancy company at the beginning of 2022 and looks after the likes of Raffles Hotel at OWO, The Savoy and Adam Handlings Restaurant group, She also collaborates with multiple brands to promote and engage with them and new audiences.
With her consultancy company Anna offers a range of services from strategy, venue (re) openings, industry positioning, menu development and design, training, PR and marketing and brand awareness.
Previous to this Anna spent 15 years working at The Savoy and The Langham running the bars and looking after the beverage programmes. During this time Anna won several accolades including several nominations and wins at Tales of the Cocktail including Best international Bar Team at the Beaufort Bar, Imbibe Team of the year, Class Bar Manager of the year, Class menu of the year aswell as leading team in Top 50 Bars List. She also features in CODE most influential women in hospitality and Drinks International Top 100 people in Hospitality.
Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology and Bar Development for Scarfs Bar
Yann Bouvignies has been Rosewood London’s Head of Mixology for Scarfes Bar since July 2022. Bouvignies has over 10 years’ experience in the luxury hospitality and Food & Drinks industry.
Born and raised near Montpellier in France, Bouvignies spent the first few years in the hospitality industry working at the then newly-opened Hotel Le Kaïla in Meribel. He then moved on to La Résidence de la Pinède Hotel in St Tropez. In 2014 he joined The Savoy Hotel in Meribel as assistant bar manager before moving to London to take up a post at cocktail bar Purl in Marylebone. Later that year Bouvignies joined Scarfes as a Bartender and started working under Area Director of Bars Martin Siska’s mentorship.
Under Siska’s tutelage, Bouvignies developed meticulous attention to detail and creative originality, resulting in innovative cocktails that demonstrate exquisite flavour and flair. His passion and hard work paid off and saw Bouvignies promoted to Head Bartender in 2018. Throughout his tenure at Scarfes he has shown great leadership qualities and contributed to lead the bar team to great heights.
Bouvignies is responsible for leading Rosewood London’s cocktail creativity and beverage list development. As well as being a master of mixology Bouvignies also advocates hands-on training and development of the team’s creativity and cocktail making skills.
Bouvignies has played an instrumental part in putting Scarfes Bar on the map within the international bar scene. Throughout his career Bouvignies’ talents have not gone unnoticed, winning industry awards and accolades for both the bar and himself including Best International Hotel Bar at Tales of the Cocktail 2020 Spirited Awards, placing on The World’s 50 Best Bars, Emerging Bartender of the Year and many more. Most recently, Yann Bouvignies was included in The Caterer’s Acorn Awards 2023, 30 under 30.
Within the Rosewood London family and the wider hotel group, Bouvignies is known for his warmth, passion and willingness to support not just his direct team but his colleagues internationally. As a trusted figurehead, Bouvignies has assisted in the reopening of Rosewood Le Guanahani in St Barths. He has also assisted Siska with staff training and seminars, plus guest shifts at other Rosewood properties such as Hotel de Crillon in Paris, Rosewood Baha Mar in Nassau and The Carlyle in New York.
Bouvignies’ career progression is a testament to his ambition, having collaborated in the creation and launch of 6 cocktail menus in six-years. Inspired by his extensive travels, Bouvignies and Siska are passionate about sustainability and works tirelessly to ensure the Scarfes’ signature cocktails have minimum or zero waste.
Bouvignies is also dedicated to supporting new, upcoming bars and brands in the UK and internationally, giving them the platform and visibility at Scarfes Bar to grow and show their talents. He is always looking for ways to bring the bar industry together to build a community amongst bartenders, brands and media. As a result, Bouvignies is often invited around the world to showcase his knowledge at award-winning bars and host creative workshops and seminars on modern techniques and methodology for local teams and industry leaders to take inspiration from.
Assistant Bar Manager of the Bar at the Metropole hôtel in Monaco
My Journey began at the Illkirch hotel / catering school in the north east France where i studied and where I was under the guidance of an amazing teacher, Jacques Wirman. It was here that I learnt my skills alongside Maxime Hoerth & Alexis Taoufiq both recipients of the MOF Bar which is the most important award in France.
In 2005, I started my career in the Hotel Carlton in Cannes and in the Hilton in Strasbourg. In 2006 a significant turning point came as I started working in the American Bar at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. After that I decided to try my first experience out of France at L’atelier of Joel Robuchon in London for two years as assistant Bar Manager (2008-2009).
In 2010, I returned to France and started a long journey of seven years of summer/winter seasons. During the summer, I took my first bar Manager position in the Residence de la Pinede (Cheval Blanc St Tropez now) until 2015. During winter, I spent two seasons (2010-2012) in Les Airelles Courchevel as assistant Bar Manager.
Furthermore, I did the opening of the first five-star Hotel in Méribel in the Kaila Hotel as bar Manager (2013-2015) and (2016-2017). In 2015, I did a mission of 6 month is the Royal Mansour in Marrakech as director of the Bars. For the past seven years and until now I’m assistant Bar Manager of the Bar at the Metropole hôtel in Monaco.