The Craft Guild of Chefs has announced the 16 semi-finalists for the 2015 Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) competition.
They include chefs from Gleneagles, the Ritz, Compass Group and BaxterStorey (see full list below) and were seeded from a number of UK chef competitions. These were: the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards; Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Chef; Young Welsh Chef of the Year; Young Scottish Chef of the Year; Young Game Chef of the Year; Young Grampian Chef of the Year; Young North East Chef of the Year; South West Young Chef of the Year; the Master Chefs of Great Britain Young Chef of the Year; North West Chef of the Year; Guernsey Young Chef of the Year; and UK Skills.
The semi-finalists will now compete in one of two heats this month, either at Sheffield City College on 11 June, or Le Cordon Bleu London on 24 June.
This year the Craft Guild has launched a mentoring scheme, linking the competitors with a top British chef, including previous winners of the title. These mentors will be involved in the finalists' Mentor Day, which will take place at Unilever Innovation Kitchen in Leatherhead, Surrey on 7 September.
The top five scorers from the heats will then compete against the three seeded finalists - Danny Hoang from Colette's at the Grove, James Newton from the Royal Garden Hotel and the winner of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence - at the Restaurant Show on Tuesday 6 October.
The winners and runners-up will be announced, along with the National Chef of the Year 2015, at an awards ceremony after the event.
Vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and chairman of judges Steve Munkley described the Young National Chef of the Year as a fantastic platform to showcase talent and skills of the hospitality industry.
"Since its launch four years ago, the calibre of young chefs coming through this competition never fails to impress me," he said. "With the new mentoring scheme now in place I have very high expectations for this year's entrants."
Mark Sargeant, Young National Chef of the Year Ambassador, added: "It's always an absolute pleasure to be involved with YNCOTY and to witness the competition go from strength to strength. Each year the standards get higher and I'm really looking forward to seeing what talent this year's competition brings."
Last year's winner of Young National Chef of the Year, which is open to chefs aged 18 to 23, was Luke Selby, junior sous chef at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons. His winning menu comprised beef tartare with alliums, baby beetroot and mustard sorbet; seared sable fish, with parsley, lemon and caper dressing, pickled cockles and scraps; plus chocolate fondant with pink grapefruit, jasmine tea ice-cream and grue de cacao.
The semi-finalists competing in heat one at Sheffield City College, Sheffield:
- Andrew Forbes, Gleneagles
- Sean Creamer, Aldea
- Daniel Wood, Stocks hotel, Sark
- Jonathan Ferguson, Cail Bruich West
- Aaron Tye, Shared Olive restaurant
- Danny Young, Northcote Manor
- Arthur Quin, the Punchbowl Inn
- Richie Gavryluk, Trump International Golf Links, Balmedie
The semi-finalists competing in heat two at Le Cordon Bleu, London:
- Elly Wentworth, Manor House hotel, Castle Combe
- Craig Bateman, Compass Group UK & Ireland
- Jack Vassallo, Grosvenor House hotel
- Connor Godfrey, Wiltons restaurant
- Victoria Scupham, the Royal Household
- Ruth Hansom, the Ritz
- Peter Ley, BaxterStorey
- Salvatore Vitale, Deloitte
Latest video from The Caterer