Young Chef Young Waiter and Young Mixologist England Announce Finalists: These 13 talented young chefs, waiters, and mixologists will go to the England final in July

London, June 2023: Young Chef Young Waiter England and Young Mixologist England, elevated by NEFT Vodka, have today announced the 13 finalists who will compete in the England finals of both competitions in July.

This group of talented young hospitality superstars each submitted video entries 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.

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 live final will be held at the University College of Birmingham and the awards will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) Birmingham, from Monday, 3, to Wednesday, 5 July.

Young Mixologist will launch in the UK, USA, and Singapore in 2023, alongside Young Chef Young Waiter competitions taking place in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cayman Islands, USA, Monaco, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

The finalists in each category include:



The head judges for each category at the England final include Adam Handling of Adam Handling Restaurant Group for the chefs, Simon King of Igniting Hospitality for the waiters, and Anna Sebastian of Anna Sebastian Hospitality Consultancy for the mixologists.

After each country’s final, the chef, waiter, and mixologist winners will travel to Monaco in November, to compete in the world final, alongside their counterparts from the ten other YCYW competitions, on Thursday, 23 and Friday, 24 November. After the world finals, the winning chef and waiter duo will be awarded $10,000, and the global mixology winner will win $5,000.

Young Chef Young Waiter England is proudly supported by Meat & Livestock Australia Wine & Something, Champagne PIAFF and Amadeus. 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.

Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 chef judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 waiter judges:

Young Chef Young Waiter England 2023 mixologist judges:

Paul Robinson, Chief Creative Officer of NEFT Vodka said: “At NEFT Vodka we know that what’s inside our barrels delights the most decerning of pallets, but we’re also aware that what’s outside of the barrel is the brand, a brand with strong values. As a relatively new and proudly progressive brand, we whole heartedly support young creatives and visionaries, artists whose innovation will shape the future of their industry, be it culinary or other. That’s what Young Chef Young Water is all about and why NEFT is so honoured to be a part of it. Further expanding our commitment to the future of hospitality, we’re so excited to collaborate with Bobby and Sean to add a third component to the Young Chef Young Waiter program, Young Mixologist, a NEFT driven addition that will soon be a part each of the YCYW competitions.”

Stephen Edwards, UK Business Manager for Meat & Livestock Australia said: “Meat and Livestock Australia work with chefs young and old across the globe to educate and promote the positive attributes of Aussie beef and lamb available to chefs around the world. The Young Chef Young Waiter competition is a fantastic high-profile event that concentrates on young up and coming chefs globally, we are also dedicated to supporting and nurturing young chefs to ensure this important industry is in good hands into the future.”

General Manager at the ICC Birmingham and Young Chef Young Waiter England Judge Craig Hancox said: “At Amadeus, we are so excited to dive into the world of culinary brilliance for the 2nd year running. This prestigious competition is a rollercoaster of flavours and skills, and we are looking forward to not just to hosting and judging – but also supplying of all food and beverage ingredients. We look forward to fuelling the competition fire with our quality ingredients and seeing the amazing finalists in action!”

Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Chef Judge Adam Handling said: “2023 marks my third year as head chef judge for Young Chef Young Waiter England, and I’m thrilled Robert, Sean, and the team have asked me to come back again. Setting the challenges and working with the finalists as they work tirelessly to cook exceptionally creative dishes with the fantastic ingredients provided is very rewarding. I’m so glad to be able to coach our young chefs in this way.”

Young Chef Young Waiter England Head Waiter Judge Simon King said: “I have such a fantastic time judging these competitions. The passion and professionalism all the entrants bring on competition day in inspiring, and the opportunity to coach and support the next generation of hospitality stars is a privilege. I’ll see you in Birmingham!”

Young Mixologist England Head Mixologist Judge Anna Sebastian said: “I am really excited to be part of the newly launched Young Mixologist competition which endeavours to support new and exciting talent in the bar industry. This is very much about elevating the industry and giving people the platform to continue and develop their career with as much support as possible. Young Mixologist is an exciting opportunity for many so very much hope to see lots of entries from all over the country.”

Young Chef Young Waiter England Waiter Judge George Hersey said: “I can’t wait to see what the inaugural group of young mixologists whip up for us in Birmingham, and I think it’s fantastic that the Young Chef Young Waiter competition will now acknowledge exceptional young talent in mixology, as well as chefs and waiters. Creating world class drinks requires a lot of training, creativity, and hard work, and I look forward to working with our bartenders on all the above in July!”

World Young Chef Young Waiter Chairman Robert Walton MBE said: “As the Chairman of this event since 2006, I’m delighted to see Young Chef Young Waiter add the Young Mixologist competition this year, acknowledging the vital role mixology plays in hospitality experiences, and coaching a group of talented young bar people.”

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. This competition places our sector at the heart of education, training and development for young professionals in this wonderful industry. I’m delighted to add Young Mixologist this year, and would like to thank our partners at NEFT Vodka for making this possible.”

18th July 2023

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