The British Culinary Federation (BCF) is now accepting entries for its Young Chef of the Year 2015 and its BCF Chef of the Year 2016 awards.
Paper entries for the Young Chef of the Year competition should be submitted by 5 October, while the closing date for the BCF Chef of the Year 2016 competition is 22 January.
Now in its 18th year, the BCF Young Chef of the Year contest seeks to encourage and promote young chefs within the industry and offer them a chance to showcase their culinary skills and talent.
The first round of applications invites chefs to make paper entries by email or post to the BCF secretary, proposing a three-course meal for two covers in two hours, including fish/shellfish for the starter, main course with pork, and a sweet. All shortlisted finalists will then go on to compete in the Bonnet Kitchen at University College Birmingham on 2 November.
An entry form can be downloaded from the BCF website, and the entry fee is £20 for non-members, which includes one year's membership of the BCF. Chosen dishes and method must be included in the submission.
Judges will mark on criteria including presentation and content, working methods, professional techniques and culinary skills, hygiene practices, timing and quality and balance of textures. The evening's awards will also present prizes for best starter, best main course and best sweet.
First prize is a David Bache trophy, a cheque for £250, a study tour to Luxembourg with Villeroy & Boch, a winner's commemorative plate, and a framed certificate. Second place wins a cheque for £150, a commemorative plate and a framed certificate. Third place receives a cheque for £100, a commemorative plate and a framed certificate.
All finalists will also receive a personalised chef's jacket, a framed certificate, a commemorative plate sponsored by Villeroy & Boch, and two tickets to the awards ceremony.
Last year's winner was Ray Steplin from the House of Commons. Andrew McKee from the Lough Erne Resort came in second and Leonidas Kattou from Simpsons Restaurant was third.
Peter Griffiths, competition organiser and president of the British Culinary Federation, said: "Over the past 17 years we have seen the standard and individual styles and culinary skills continue to improve, and expect this year's competition to be no exception. The final is your opportunity to represent your establishment and gain recognition within our industry."
Sponsors of the competition include Villeroy & Boch, Interfruit, Gourmet Classic, Beacon, and Major International.