Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia 2020 Launches in the UK

The World’s Best Chef and Waiter Competition

The new Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia competition, which promotes hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation, launched in the UK on 14 August 2020. TV Chef and food writer Ching He Huang has been named Chairman of Judges and Young Chef Young Waiter – China / South East Asia and will oversee an esteemed panel of industry experts.

Ching He Huang

Ken Hom OBE

Bernard Yeoh

Andrew Wong

Young Chef Young Waiter – China/South East Asia is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs under the age of 26 from any background working in the Chinese and South East Asian Restaurant sector. Entries will open online at
The competition is the first of its kind in the UK, the Young Chefs Young Waiters will compete to win in the finals on the 17 November 2020 at The Langham in Central London. The winners will be crowned that same evening with a glittering evening at The Ballroom, Langham London Hotel.

Head Chef Chong Choi Fong

The panel of judges includes Ken Hom OBE, Andrew Wong of Michelin Starred A Wong, Tony Truong of Mei Ume at The Four Seasons, Chef Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure and Chef Chong Choi Fong of China Tang at The Dorchester. For the Front of House Young Waiter Judges we have Restaurant Director Alan Tang of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, Andy Downton of Park Chinois, Bernard Yeoh of Kai Mayfair, John Man at China Tang at The Dorchester.

John Man

Robert Walton MBE Chairman of Young Chef Young Waiter said: “We are delighted to welcome Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia so we can add a whole new dimension to the competition in the UK. Young Chef Young Waiter brings together the heritage and the prestige of a 41 year old competition with a modern and progressive approach.Our aim is to be a global competition galvanising the next generation of young hospitality professionals under World Young Chef Young Waiter. Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia is the first step in that journey and I am so thankful that Ching joins us as Chairwoman to bring her incredible energy and remarkable talent to the competition.”

Ching He Huang said: “I am delighted to be a Chairwoman and one of Head Judge for YCYW China/Asia 2020 as I firmly believe in supporting the next generation of talent in our world class hospitality industry in the U.K. Having worked in the media to promote Chinese/Asia cuisine in the U.K. since 2004, I know what it is like to be young and be trying to break into an industry one is passionate about. However, I certainly did not get to the position I am in without the love and support of many. YCYW China/Asia is an amazing competition that will bring together the best culinary art talents we have in the U.K. – to celebrate them, to nurture them, to support them and to give them hope especially during this tough time we are facing collectively as an industry. It is times like this that the industry shows the best of itself and the coming together of many leading culinary heroes of mine and that of our industry.

With deepest sincere thanks to Head Chef Judges Chef Ken Hom OBE, Andrew Wong of Michelin Starred A Wong, Tony Truong of Mei Ume at The Four Seasons, Chong Choi Fong, Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure and the Front of House Young Waiter Judges – Restaurant Director Alan Tang of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, Andy Downton of Park Chinois, Bernard Yeoh of Kai Mayfair and John Man at China Tang at The Dorchester who are all ready and involved to help support the next generation of leading talent. So if you are under 26 and have had 3 years experience in the Chinese/Asian hospitality industry (it does not matter if you are furloughed at the moment), we welcome you on board and submit your entries to compete for an amazing prize and be crowned winner of YCYW China/Asia 2020! United through food and friendship, we nourish each other to survive and thrive.”

Ken Hom OBE said: “I am most honoured to be one of the Head Judges for YCYW China/Asia 2020. We must support the next generation to promote Chinese/Asia cuisine in the UK and I am thrilled to be part of that!”

Alan Tang

Alan Tang, Restaurant Director at TÎNG, Shangri-La Hotel, at The Shard, London said: “I believe a great leader is someone who shares their wealth of experience with others, with the vision to develop more leaders rather than followers. This is also the perfect platform to find and nurture the rising stars in the Asian community, to motivate them to excel, step out of their comfort zone and go the extra mile. Sometimes what a young waiter needs is someone to believe in them, even when they do not believe in themselves.

“只要能夢想,你就能實現” – “If you can dream it, you can achieve it!””

Andrew Wong of Michelin Starred A Wong said: ”I am honoured to be a judge for YCYW China/ Asia 2020, now more than ever it is incredibly important to support young talent and develop the hospitality leaders of the future. I have been very lucky with help and guidance throughout my career, and now want to offer that same support to the next generation of young chefs and front of house stars. If you’re passionate, have 3 years’ experience in the Asian hospitality industry and are under 26 please apply! I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing how they interpret our 3000 years of gastronomic history.”

Chef Wee Boon Goh

Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure said: “The YCYW China/Asia 2020 is an excellent platform for young chefs to hone their skills with the best in the industry. Looking back, I wished that we had this competition to groom young chefs like me when I first started out. What a great opportunity that would have been. I am now looking forward to impart my experience, knowledge and skills to the upcoming generation of young chefs who have chosen this exciting career path.”

Chef Tony Truong

Tony Truong of Mei Ume at The Four Seasons said: “I’m very much looking forward to being part of the competition and to see the potential of the next generation of chefs.”

Andy Downton of Park Chinois said: “As somebody who has grown up though the years in hospitality and have had many people guide and help shape my career I am so proud to be par of the judging team for this years Young Chef Young Waiter of the year competition, our amazing industry needs to always give back to the next generation. This is my opportunity to now help pass on my experience and show support at a time when it’s needed the most. Young Chef Young Waiter China/South East Asia will be a great experience for anybody entering and I really look forward to meeting the entries.”

This years competition sees sponsorship from leading Chinese sauce company Lee Kum Kee and leading Japanese brand, Yutaka plus EVA Air.

Maria Chong, MD of Lee Kum Kee Europe said: “We are grateful to be part of this meaningful event to keep the industry going while encouraging young talents to live up with their passion in pursuit of a colourful career in the foodservice industry and the culinary world. Our company mission is very much in support of culinary culture development, hence simply a perfect match.”

Bruce Wang, General Manager of EVA Air UK Branch said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Young Chef Young Waiter China/Asia 2020 Awards. EVA Air has an excellent reputation for its onboard food and wine and our links to this high profile event help provide the perfect opportunity to highlight these credentials and at the same time support a very worthy event.”

Ken C Furukawa C.E.O. of Tazaki Foods Ltd. said: “I am very glad and honoured that Tazaki Foods and YUTAKA can sponsor the YCYW China / South East Asia 2020 this year. Having been working as Japanese ingredients specialists in the UK for more than 40 years, we have seen a dramatic change in the UK food scene. Many different Asian cuisines have become an integral part of everyday life in the UK and have also, I believe, been influencing each other and making our industry even more exciting.

We are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic situation and there is no doubt that the food and hospitality industry has been the hardest hit by it. That is why it is so important to give our support now to the next generation of talent in our industry and I hope we at Tazaki Foods can play our part.”

Kristoffer Luczak, Executive Vice President of Food & Beverage for Wynn Macau, Limited said, “Wynn has been actively cultivating young talents to further promote the development of the food and beverage industry. The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition is an ideal platform to recognize young professionals and Wynn is proud to support its efforts, hoping to inspire this next generation to pursue their future career development and contribute to the industry.”

Young Chef Young Waiter – China/South East Asia

Young Chef Young Waiter combines a 41 year heritage with a lively new format, 2019 saw the hugely exciting, highly successful return of YCYW: bigger, better and more interactive than ever. This year, the competition extends to the Chinese and South East Asian sector to attract young talented entrants currently working in the UK Hospitality industry and have been for 3 years. The entrants will have the opportunity to meet high profile industry professionals, learn new skills and make new friends at the competition.

The aim of Young Chef Young Waiter – China/South East Asia is simple: to uncover the very best young talent in our industry and help equip them with relevant skills, current knowledge and the network needed to succeed in the world of hospitality. Devised by respected professionals, the competition has a fresh modern approach that focusses on tasks and criteria that are challenging, educational and fun. Young Chef Young Waiter showcases all aspects of hospitality. Inspiring, empowering and inclusive, most of all we celebrate the capabilities and diversity of our amazing industry.

Entries are open now, Chefs and Waiters are welcome to apply for both Young Chef Young Waiter – China/South East Asia and Young Chef Young Waiter UK.

The Young Chef Young Waiter UK Competition Established in 1979, the competition was relaunched for 2019 by The Nth Degree Global in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association with sponsors including Arla Pro, Magnum, the Cayman Islands and Alpha Rewards. Richard Henderson and Alessandro Calzavacca were awarded Young Chef and Young Waiter of the year respectively in the revamped 2019 live final.

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. Read the Young Chef Young Waiter UK 2020 Launch Press Release here.

About Lee Kum Kee
Lee Kum Kee is the leading Chinese sauce brand and the inventor of Oyster Sauce. Its expertise and heritage in producing high-quality authentic Chinese sauces since 1888, has made it a household name among Chinese consumers and the brand of choice of Michelin chefs and Chinese restaurants. It is also the number 1 brand for both Oyster Sauce, and for Chinese sauces in the World Food Section of leading supermarket chains in the U.K. Its wide range of sauces are stocked by all major supermarket, online groceries, Asian stores, and foodservice wholesalers. Visit the website: 

About EVA Air
EVA Air is a Star Alliance member and one of only 10 SKYTRAX-rated 5-Star airlines worldwide. The carrier was established in 1989 as Taiwan’s first privately owned international airline. It is part of the respected Evergreen Group and a sister company to global container-shipping leader Evergreen Line. It flies a fleet of more than 80 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to over 60 international destinations throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America where gateways are Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver. Travellers can learn more about EVA Air and schedule, book and buy tickets at

About Yutaka and Tazaki Foods
Yutaka is a leading Japanese food brand and we provide a great selection of Japanese food products to consumers and an extensive range of food services products to professionals. Tazaki Foods, the name behind Yutaka brand, is a leading importer, developer and distributor of Japanese food and drinks in the UK and Europe. Tazaki foods supply a wide range of brands and are trusted by leading restaurants, retailers and manufacturers to consistently deliver high quality and innovative products.

Key dates:
15 October 2020 – Entries close
16/17 November 2020 – Two-day event in London with finalists (subject to Government guidelines)
17 November 2020
YCYW China / South East Asia Final (subject to Government guidelines)
Winners announced at YCYW party (subject to Government guidelines)

Enter now at Young Chef Young Waiter now.

12th October 2020

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