The Craft Guild of Chefs has revealed the 40 chefs it will be taking through to the next stage of National Chef of the Year (NCOTY).
At this stage, all judges' scores are based on anonymised online entries including descriptions of dishes, cooking method and photographs of the completed menus.
The competition is open to chefs who are 24 years or older as of February 1 2018. Competitors come from all areas of the hospitality business including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining, private and public sectors.
Judges included Sodexo's David Mulcahy, the Ritz's Alyn Williams, Elior's Peter Joyner, Craft Guild of Chefs chairman Andrew Bennett, the Grove's Russell Bateman, Elystan Street's Phil Howard, Craft Guild vice president and trustee Steve Scuffell, pastry chef consultant Sarah Hartnett, Westminster Kingsway College's Gary Hunter and chef consultant Willie Pike, overseen by chair of judges Gary Jones, executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
The Sheffield semi-final will take place on the morning of Tuesday 12 June 2018 and will include:
• Aled Williams, head of development and innovation, TRUEfoods
• Daniel McGeorge, head chef, Rothay Manor hotel
• David Neilson, senior chef de partie, Number One at the Balmoral
• Derek Johnstone, head chef, Borthwick Castle
• Josh Adams, development chef, Sousvide Tools
• Kacper Walor, sous chef, Ladhar Leisure/Pleased To Meet You
• Martin Frickel, senior sous chef, the Forestside
• Matt Worswick, head chef, Matt Worswick at the Latymer
• Matthew Ramsdale, sous chef, the Chester Grosvenor
• Zoltan Szabo, executive chef, Blythswood Square Hotel Glasgow
Three heats will be completed at Le Cordon Bleu in London on Tuesday 19 June 2018 and these will include:
• Adam Thomason, executive chef, Restaurant Associates at Deloitte
• Andonis Paraskeva, executive head chef, Lusso Catering (CH&Co)
• George Blogg, head chef, Gravetye Manor
• James Cousins, senior sous chef, Restaurant Associates at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
• Kuba Winkowski, head chef, the Feathered Nest Inn
• Marcin Pomierny, head chef, the Maids Head hotel
• Nick Smith, head chef, Harbour & Jones/Ashurst
• Sam Bowser, head chef, Dormy House
• Sarah-Jasmina Moussabih, head chef, Nordic Catering
• Virginia Ramiro Mendez, sous chef, Vacherin/Royal Bank of Canada
• Aaron Ashmore, head chef, Clarette - Chateaux Margaux
• Daniel Jones, head chef, JT at 3 Main Street, Fishguard
• Glenn Evans, head of food, Las Iguanas
• Jamie Park, head chef, the Frog E1
• Joseph Fallowfield, sous chef, the Elephant
• Jozef Rogulski, executive head chef, the Stafford London
• Luciano Lucioli, private chef
• Paul O'Neill, head chef, Cliveden House
• Stefan Sewell, defence chef instructor, CSCAT
• Thomas Westerland, head chef, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa
• Daniel Tilinger, sous chef, Social Wine and Tapas
• David Davey-Smith, chef instructor, Royal Air Force
• Fraser Bruce, head chef, Tate Gallery St Ives
• Garreth Wilson, head chef, Titanic Belfast
• Liam Fauchard-Newman, senior sous chef, Rhubarb/Fenchurch
• Martin Kilbey, executive head chef, Sodexo
• Nat Tallents, executive chef, Lewinnick Lodge and the Plume of Feathers
• Sam Astley-Dean, sous chef, Elystan street
• Stefano Leone, executive head chef, D&D London/Royal Exchange Grand Cafe & Sauterelle
• Terry O'Riordan, executive chef, Compass Group UK & Ireland
The winner of each heat will automatically be seeded into the final which takes place on Tuesday 2 October at the Restaurant Show at the Olympia London. It will then be down to the highest scores across all four heats to discover which six chefs will complete the line-up.
Vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs David Mulcahy said: "We have seen some exciting innovation and creativity from the entries. It is encouraging to see many new faces entering this year and with a diverse selection of chefs from all sectors we are in for a great series of semi-finals."
Andrew Bennett, new chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs, added: "The National Chef of the Year continues to go from strength to strength and having judged this competition over many years, it is amazing to observe how it has transformed with the times."