Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England Announce 2023 Winners: The winning chef, waiter, and mixologist will go on to compete at the world final in Monaco in November

London, July 2023: Last week, the England finals of Young Chef Young Waiter England and Young Mixologist England, elevated by NEFT Vodka, took place at the University College of Birmingham. The three winners were announced at a special awards ceremony at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham.

Each of 13 talented young hospitality superstars at the finals had submitted a video entry to YCYW England and Young Mixologist England, the full list of entries was then whittled down by a panel of expert judges, including Adam Handling, of Adam Handling Restaurant Group; Simon King, of Igniting Hospitality; and Anna Sebastian, of Anna Sebastian Hospitality Consulting.

These judges also led the in-person judging in Birmingham last week, where finalists were assessed on creativity, innovation, attention to detail, and technical ability, over an exciting and exhilarating one day live final.

The three England winners will go on to compete in the Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist world finals in November, at the Lycée Rainier III, formally the Lycèe Technique et Hôtelier de Monaco, showcasing their abilities to world class chefs, hospitality experts, and mixologists.

From top to bottom, the winners are: Young Chef Young Waiter & Young Mixologist winning Mixologist, Niamh Preedy of Northcote Hotel; Young Chef Young Waiter & Young Mixologist winning Waiter, Jade Walker of The Ritz London; and Young Chef Young Waiter & Young Mixologist winning Chef, Benjamin Mabley of Hartwell House Hotel & Spa.

Since being established in 1979, Young Chef Young Waiter has become a firm fixture on the UK hospitality industry calendar, with groups of talented young chefs and waiters competing each year to be named the UK’s Young Chef or Young Waiter winner. This year, the competition extends its remit into mixology for the first time, with the Young Mixologist of the Year mantel also up for grabs.

YCYW England is open to all chefs, waiters, and mixologists working in England who are under 28 years old, from any background. The world final will be held at the Lycée Rainier III, formally the Lycèe Technique et Hôtelier de Monaco, on Thursday, 23 and Friday, 24 November 2023.

Pictured below, the judges and the 13 finalists of Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England.

From right to left, Second Place Young Waiter for England, Mia Lane Learoyd of Northcote Hotel; and Second Place Young Chef for England, Sebastian Brooks of CSONS Shrewsbury.

From left to right below, Third Place Young Chef for England is Joshua Singer from Scott’s
Richmond; and Third Place Young Waiter for England is Oscar Eve-Howard from The Hand &
Flowers Marlow.

The judges for each category at the England final included:
Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 chef judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 waiter judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 mixologist judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter England is proudly supported by Meat & Livestock Australia Wine & Something, Champagne PIAFF, Amadeus and The Fork. Young Mixologist of the Year is elevated by NEFT Vodka. World Young Chef Young Waiter is supported by Great Campaign & Culinary Institute of America (CIA) globally.

Paul Robinson, Chief Creative Officer of NEFT Vodka said: “NEFT Vodka is proud to support the celebration of young visionaries in the Mixology field. Young Mixologist is a perfect addition to the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition and its fantastic to have an opportunity to work with the many talented mixologists who apply. Niamh’s approach and creativity impressed me from the very start of the competition, and her cocktail ‘Candy Floss’ was a clear winner.”

General Manager at the ICC Birmingham and Young Chef Young Waiter England Judge Craig Hancox said: “As a judge, I witnessed remarkable talent and unwavering passion in the YCYW England competition. The winners have proved themselves as shining examples of perseverance and skill, deserving of the highest accolades. It has been a pleasure to be a part of, facilitating both individually as a judge and on behalf of Amadeus – who provided all of the food and beverage supplies for the competition. Congratulations to all of the winners and good luck in the global finals!”

Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Chef Judge Adam Handling said: “The greatest privilege of being Head Chef Judge of this incredible competition is the genuine proof that there are young people in our industry that have such pure talent. The progression year-on-year is remarkable, and it makes me so proud. I get to spend time with them, listen to their stories, taste their food, and feel inspired by their way of thinking. This was the closest final I’ve even seen and there were only a few points between all of them, but Ben Mabley did just slightly nudge himself into first place. He’s a very worthy winner and I’m proud to say that he will be taking England to the main world stage. I wish him the best of luck and I have no doubt that he’ll absolutely smash it!

Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Waiter Judge Simon King said: “One of the things that really stood for me was the unity and teamwork from all the competitors, despite the obvious pressure and focus on doing the best they can, everyone went out of their way to help fellow competitors during the lunch service which was fantastic to see. Jade really did stand out from the crowd, her composure, charm, knowledge, and guest engagement was superb, she was never flustered and looked like she was having fun the entire time, incredible for such a young professional.”

Young Mixologist England Head Mixologist Judge Anna Sebastian said: “It was an honour to be part of the Young Mixologist England competition for its debut year, and witness such great talent participate. I’m delighted to see Niamh take first place, demonstrating her dedication, passion, and love for the industry. I look forward to her represent the UK in the world final”

Young Chef Young Waiter England Waiter Judge George Hersey said: “”It was a total honour to be involved in this year’s judging for YCYW England. The thing that stood out the most to us this year was the level of teamwork shown by all of our finalists. It was so inspiring to see such young talent helping each other through service and supporting their chefs too. I was so happy to see such young people so passionate about front of house hospitality, and the joy in their faces doing what they love. A huge well done and congratulations to Jade who really was incredible, and I can’t wait to see how well she performs in the World finals! Good luck!”

World Young Chef Young Waiter Managing Director Sean Valentine FIH said: “Each and every year I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with Young Chef Young Waiter I’ve been blown away by the professionalism and excitement our entrants bring to the process. 2023 was no different! Jade, Benjamin, and Niamh all gave 110% on the day and fully deserve their wins. I look forward to seeing what they bring to the world finals in Monaco in November.”

18th July 2023

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