Young Chef Young Waiter Winners announced by Masterchef’s John Torode

Masterchef’s John Torode awarded the winners, first and second place to the Young Chef Young Waiter finalists on Tuesday night at Quaglino’s restaurant. Head chef judge Theo Randall announced that Richard Henderson from Restaurant Hywel Jones, Lucknam Park was the winner of the Young Chef award with second place going to Ryan Baker from Northall Restaurant, Corinthia Hotel and third place awarded to Lewis Glaister from Bluebird Restaurant, Chelsea. Head waiter judge Simon King announced the winner as Alessandro Calzavacca from Jean-Georges at the Connaught, second place was Salvatore Delle Donne from the Fat Duck and third place was Andrea La Cognata from the Fat Duck.

Our 32 semi finalists were made up of 16 chefs and 16 waiters had been whittled down to 12 on Monday ready for the final challenges on Tuesday at Westminster Kingsway College. Our lucky finalists moved forward to day two at Westminster Kingsway College which saw them paired up to take on exciting challenges in front of our judges. Our finalists were challenged to make dishes using products from our sponsors Arla Pro and Magnum. The winners will enjoy exciting prizes including a mentoring call with chef Thomas Keller, a trip to DAOU Vineyards in California and a culinary-themed visit to Denmark.

Our head chef judge Theo Randall said: “All of the judges were impressed with the top three as they all did so well in this competitive environment for such a young age. Our Young Chef winner, Richard Henderson, was a fantastic character and had a really calm persona in the kitchen. He cooked really well under stress and his final dishes were absolutely flawless. We are all amazed by his personality and think he is going to go a long way in the industry.”

Our head waiter judge Simon King said: “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 has been 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. Our Young Waiter winner, Alessandro Calzavacca, is clearly very passionate, and also unbelievably composed. His attention to detail across all our tasks was noted by all our judges. We think he has a very bright future ahead of him in hospitality.”

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.

With thanks to our sponsors and partners Arla Pro, Magnum, the Cayman Islands, Alpha Rewards, Nordaq, The Wine Social, Hard Rock Hotel, Champagne Frerejean Frères, Digicool, Westminster Kingsway College, Steelite, The Springboard Charity, UKHospitality, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts.

Find out more about Young Chef Young Waiter here –

1st November 2019

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