The semi finalists of the 2013 Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition have been annouced.
They have been selected through a paper judging process which this year saw a record number of entries and will compete at three cook-offs held in Sheffield onthe 18 June and London on the 2 and 3 July.
Each semi-final will concentrate on a different type of cuisine. The categories include Asian and Oriental; modern British and European; and Rest of the World.
David Mulcahy, organiser of the competition and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chef said: "Normally there are forty semi-final places available, but due to the very high standard and higher marks achieved this year, this has been increased to forty-four," he said.
"Everyone on the judging panel agreed that the overall quality of entries is getting better and better by the year and we are definitely going in the right direction. Recipe writing has improved markedly and the entry forms are more focused, partly because we have strived to better communicate what they should concentrate on in their entry; seasonality, provenance and sourcing, and making sure they have a well balanced menu."
Eight chefs who make the grade will go on to the live competition final at The Restaurant Show in London on 8 October in front of judges including Philip Howard, Angela Hartnett and Atul Kochhar.
The National Chef of the Year 2013 will be announced at an awards ceremony and VIP dinner in the evening.
Past winners of the competition include Gordon Ramsay, Simon Hulstone, Mark Sargeant and Frederick Forster, while last year's winner was Alyn Williams, head chef at Alyn Williams at the Westbury, London.
This year's semi-finalists in The National Chef of the Year are:
SHEFFIELD HEAT ONE - Modern British / European
Jamie Park, junior sous chef, Historic House Hotels
Andrew Wright, junior sous chef, Mallory Court Hotel
Paul O'Malley, senior sous chef, The Butchers Shop Bar and Grill
Dez Turland, group development chef, Brend Hotels
Brian Canale, head chef, Heritage Portfolio
Nicholas Evans, head chef, Middlethorpe Hall Hotel
Adam Rasburn, sous chef, TM Catering
Richard Knights, head chef, Southwold Pier, Boardwalk Restaurant
Zoltan Szabo, head chef, Grand Central Hotel Glasgow
Mark Stinchcombe, sous chef, Le Champignon Sauvage
LONDON HEAT TWO - Asian / Oriental & Rest of the World
Sujan Sarkar, head chef, Automat
Imithiaz Kadar, executive chef, Wyndham Grand Chelsea Harbour
Premila Fernando, sous chef, Buddha Bar Knightsbridge
Diane Kay, development chef, Reynolds Catering Supplies
Sauray Nath, head chef, Guglee Restaurant
Andrew Wong, Chef, A. Wong
Ashwani Kumar, head chef, Mango Lounge
Saurabh Prabhakar, sous chef, Hilton Hotels
Mark Aust, head chef, Artizian
LONDON HEAT THREE - Modern British / European
Ben Williams, head chef, Read's Restaurant with Rooms
Russell Bateman, head chef, Colette's Restaurant
Peter Pickering, Junior sous chef, Café Royal
Scott Dineen, senior sous chef, BaxterStorey
Adam Thomason, head chef, Wykeham Arms (Fullers Smith and Turner PLC)
Alex Bond, sous chef, Auberge du Lac
Ian Boden, development chef, M&B Innovation Centre
Selin Kiazim, chef, The Kitchen Table
Hayden Groves, executive chef, BaxterStorey
Daniel Kerr, head chef, The Old Mill, Berkhamsted
Wayne Thomson, chef/patron, No 9 Church Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon
David Bush, senior chef de partie, House of Commons
LONDON HEAT FOUR - Modern British / European
Leszek Karpinski, sous chef, Compass Group
Paul Matthews, head chef, The Hunter S
Dan Towell, chef manager, Elior UK
Lahiru Jayasekara, senior sous chef, Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley
Keith Hooker, group chef (hospitality), Restaurant Associates
Matthew Thomson, head chef, Ribble Valley Inns
Kyle Jenkins, sous chef, La Trompette
Tony Stuart, head chef, Shearman and Sterling, Sodexo Prestige
Chris Golding, head chef, The Ampersand Hotel
Elisha Carter, head chef, Café Royal Hotel
Simon Webb, head chef, CH&Co
Allan Pickett, Head chef, Plateau Restaurant