Young Chef Young Waiter 2019 Finalists Announced

The details for the final of the Young Chef Young Waiter competition on the 28 and 29 October have been announced. The live final will take place in London across two days to find the best young chef and best young waiter in the UK. Our 32 finalists made up of 16 chefs and 16 waiters will be staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in London. The semi final on Monday and final on Tuesday will be held at Westminster Kingsway College where our finalists will take part in a series of tasks designed to test their skills. After our first day, our finalists will be announced at a special dinner at the Hard Rock Hotel on Monday evening. Our lucky finalists will move forward to day two at Westminster Kingsway College which will see them paired up to take on exciting challenges in front of our judges. Our finalists will be challenged to make dishes using products from our sponsors Arla Pro and Magnum. The lucky winners will be announced to celebrate their success at a glittering awards party at Quaglino’s in the heart of London’s St. James.

The 32 finalists are comprised of 16 young chefs and 16 young waiters who were chosen by a stellar judging panel. The Young Chef Young Waiter competition is celebrating 40 years in the UK this year and judging panel includes Theo Randall, Jason Atherton, Tom Kerridge, Emily Roux, Claude Bosi, Ruth Hansom, Brian Turner and Tom Aikens. Applicants from Hide, The Fat Duck and The Hand and Flowers lead the way with three finalists from each restaurants making the shortlist.

The Judges
Our digital entries were judged by leading figures from the hospitality industry and the full judging panel includes our Head Chef Judge Theo Randall 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, 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, Luigi Cagnin and Antonio Salvatore. Read more about judges here.

“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.”
Jason Atherton, The Social Company

“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.”
Emily Roux

“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 home grown 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, its the best 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
standing proudly on their own two feet.”
Tom Aikens

“It is important that the next generation see cooking and working in front of house as a career, as it is on the continent, rather than as something more transient. It is a demanding career but also a very rewarding one. These competitions are a great way for enthusiastic staff to challenge themselves, improve their skills and raise their profile”.
Ollie Dabbous

The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition
The Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which was established in 1979, has been relaunched by NTH Degree Global in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation. As president of the Restaurant Association and founder of The NTH Degree Club, Robert Walton MBE wanted to update this national competition. The NTH Degree is private members club based around fine
dining, so Robert has been perfectly placed to revive the concept which was last held in 2012. The Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which for 2019 has amazing sponsors including Arla Pro, Magnum, and the Cayman Islands, is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background. The event is supporting The Springboard Charity’s FutureChef and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School.

“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 the 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 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.”
Simon King

The Young Chef Young Waiter Finals
The shortlist will take part in a live competition on 28 and 29 October where finalists will battle it out to impress the high-profile judges. Winners will be announced at a sensational evening award ceremony on Tuesday 29 October at an iconic London venue. “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 course is all about education and learning from other young professionals whilst working alongside the legends of our industry.”
Jennifer Santner

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

Robert Walton MBE said: “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.”

Jonathan Dixon, Vice President – Arla Pro UK said: “Arla Pro is focused on delivering the best of dairy for use in professional kitchens. We give our chef partners the means to mastery with milk, cheese and butter products tested for kitchen performance and made with the highest quality milk from our farmer owners. We are delighted to be sponsoring YCYW and making a positive impact on the future of hospitality in the UK.”

Jenna Hodgson-Silke, Head of Marketing – Arla Pro UK said: “We work with professional chefs all over the world to develop natural, high quality dairy products that function in the professional kitchen and we understand that better food means better business. Our farmer owners are proud to sponsor Young Chef Young Waiter 2019 and give support to the next generation of talent which will drive the industry forward.”

Alex Hall – Executive Chef UK and Ireland: “At Unilever Food Solutions we believe that attracting new talent and recognising those who are breaking through in hospitality sector is vital for its future. Seeing the next generation of chefs competing, learning and sharing experiences make this a great competition to be part of and we look forward to watching them in years to come. We wish them luck in the competition and cannot wait to see what they produce.”

Anne Pierce MBE, Chief Executive of The Springboard Charity: “We are delighted that Young Chef Young Waiter has been relaunched – it will once again play an important part in helping young people progress in their early hospitality careers – and thrilled that YCYW will be supporting Springboard’s FutureChef & FAB programmes run in secondary schools. We see a huge connection. Our school programmes engage young people from 11 to 16 years old, inspiring them to join the industry. YCYW then picks up the baton and nurtures the next stage of their career.”

History of Young Chef Young Waiter
Young Chef Young Waiter of the Year, in association with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, has been honouring the best young chefs and waiters since 1979. Now in its 40th year, Young Chef Young Waiter continues to highlight the remarkable skills of the finest young professionals building their careers in the industry. 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 and judges have included some the industry’s great recognisable names to
include – Mark Sargeant, 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 and Fred Sirieix.

Key dates:
Venue: Hard Rock Hotel, London, W1H 7DL(HRHL)
Timings: 16:00 – 18:00: arrive at hotel & check in
19:00 – 21:30/22:00: – Meet in Cocktail Bar: here we will meet and greet (fellow finalists, YCYW
team and some of our amazing judges) & enjoy a relaxed buffet dinner.

Venue: Westminster Kingsway College (WKC)
9:00: Arrive at WKC, 9:30: Welcome and briefing
10:00: Competition kicks-off, 17:00: Finish & coach departs
19:00: Dinner in Hard Rock Café – Finalists will be announced at this dinner
Venue: Westminster Kingsway College, All day: Timings will be provided to finalists

Venue: we have booked a programme of exciting activities for our semi-finalists
Venue: Quaglino’s 19:00: Glittering Awards Party

Finalists include:

Finalists for Best Young Waiter of the Year are:
Alessandro Calzavacca from Jean-Georges at the Connaught
Alessia Rivano from Angler
Andrea La Cognata from the Fat Duck
Antoine Paon from Hide Ground Floor 85 Piccadilly Circus
Asia Raele from HIDE Above London
Cristina Sabater-Hayes from the Hand and Flowers Marlow
Davide Santeramo from the Stafford London
Declan Wilkins from The Hand and Flowers Marlow
Hannah Sloan from Rockliffe Hall Golf & Spa Hotel
Georgia Wheatley from The Ivy Temple Row
Joanna Gaslowska from Orrery
Joseph Barker from the Rothay Manor Hotel
Katie Lyons from the Crafthouse
Salvatore Delle Donne from the Fat Duck
Mattia Leonardi from The Ritz London
Mattia Launech from the Stafford London

Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year are:
Alexandra Henderson from The Lansdowne Club, Mayfair, London
Alexander Parker from The Hand and Flowers
Ben Wright from Rudding Park Hotel, Clocktower Restaurant
Connor Twomey from Julie’s Restaurant
Fabrizio Cozza, Fiume
Jordan Radford from Hogan Lovells – Bartlett Mitchell
Lewis Glaister from Bluebird Restaurant, Chelsea
Luke Simmons from Hide Above
Marco Loriggiola from Cantina del Ponte
Natasha Ohene-Nyako from 100 Wardour Street
Nathaniel Mortley from Freshfields – Bartlett and Mitchell
Nicholas Reina from The Fat Duck
Richard Henderson from Restaurant Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park
Ryan Baker from Northall Restaurant, Corinthia Hotel
Tony Leung from Biltmore Mayfair
Vittorio Pali from SohoHouse UK

Find out more on our Young Chef Young Waiter website.

24th October 2019

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