The Craft Guild of Chefs has announced the 10 finalists taking part in the Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) 2016 competition.
The final will take place at the Restaurant Show at London's Olympia on 4 October. Heat winners Ruth Hansom, who works at the Ritz hotel, London, and Arthur Bridgeman Quin from the Punch Bowl Inn, London will be joined by runners-up Danny Young of the Northcote, Langho, Lancashire, Drew Snaith from Brunswick House, London, April Lily Partridge from the Clove Club, Shoreditch, London and Daniela Tucci of the Art School restaurant, Liverpool.
The final four chefs have been seeded as winners of other culinary competitions. They are Reece Cosier, the highest achiever at the Guild Graduate Awards, Jonathan Ferguson who won the British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year 2015, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Young Chef of the Year Joel Gueller and the WorldSkills UK Culinary Arts competition gold medal winner 2015, Nicole Finnie. Finalists have to plan a three-course menu, which they will serve up to the judges.
The next stage of the competition is for the chefs to attend a mentor day at the Knorr Kitchen in Leatherhead in September, where they will receive hints and tips for the final and demonstrations from Michelin-starred chefs Mark Sargeant, owner of Rocksalt and the Smokehouse, and Daniel Galmiche. To help them prepare for the final, the young chefs will learn how to get the best out of whole Norwegian Fjord trout, supplied by event sponsor Norwegian Seafood.
David Mulcahy, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition, said: "For the first time ever we will have ten finalists in the competition. Simply competing in YNCOTY has changed the careers of many young chefs. We've seen previous winners go on to have fantastic careers and are now starting to see some of them competing for the senior title too."
Sargeant added: "I do believe some of these young chefs could compete with the seniors as the standard is so high. It always amazes me to see how calm and collected the young chefs are. They handle the nerves brilliantly and take it all in their stride. We've got some bright, young talent coming through UK kitchens and I am proud to help them grow through this competition."
The winner and runners up will be revealed along with the National Chef of the Year at an awards ceremony following the final on 4 October.
The finalist in full:
- Ruth Hansom, the Ritz hotel, London
- Arthur Bridgeman Quin, the Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite
- Danny Young, Northcote, Langho, Lancashire
- Drew Snaith, Brunswick House, London
- April Lily Partridge, Clove Club, Shoreditch, London
- Daniela Tucci, Art School restaurant, Liverpool
- Reece Cosier, the Landmark hotel, London
- Jonathan Ferguson, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles
- Joel Gueller, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Great Milton, Oxfordshire
- Nicole Finnie, City of Glasgow College
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