M Restaurants has announced the finalists of its second Young Chef of the Year competition, with chefs from Pollen Street Social, the Curlew and Hide among those vying for the title.
The competition aims to find the best young culinary talent in the UK while also encouraging others into starting up a career in the hospitality industry following reported staff shortages post-Brexit.
M Restaurants founder Martin Williams said: “There are two purposes of the competition: to nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens and secondly I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves!
“Thanks to Brexit the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges.”
The 12 finalists, all aged 29 and under, are now tasked with cooking in a series of pop-up takeover nights from 3 -28 July at M in Victoria Street’s RAW Restaurant to be in with a chance of winning the competition.
They were selected after submitting an original four-course menu at £45 per head together with costings for 50 covers.
During July, entrants’ menus will be judged by M Restaurant founder Martin Williams and M group executive chef Michael Reid alongside a number of chefs and personalities.
These include Adam Handling, Andy Lynes, Claudio Cardoso, Sophie Michell, Daniel Watkins, Jose Pizarro, Michael Wignall, Steve Dinneen, Sudi Pigott and Tom Kemble.
The winner and runner-up will receive a five-day pop-up residency each at M RAW, while the overall winner will also receive a trip to Champagne and a set of Blenheim Forge knives.
The winners will be announced on 31 July at an awards ceremony.
M Young Chef of the Year Finalists
Ollie Fitton, Ryebeck hotel, Bowness on Windemere
Adebayo Folorin, Opera Tavern
Hamish Pearce, Hide
Jamie Gardner, Coal Shed
William Bowman Smith, Galloways of Woburn
Stefano Camplone, Neo Bistro
Daniel Andree, Curlew Restaurant
Aaron Ashmore, Clarette
Mateusz Maksymilian Mitka, Hotel Farnborough
Wojieck Okenski, M
Andrew Beynon, Pollen St Social
Filippo Boaro, M