The format for the Young National Chef of the Year competition has been opened up to more chefs for 2013.
The Craft Guild of Chefs competition, which runs alongside the National Chef of the Year, will include semi-final heats for the first time since the title was launched four years ago.
Previously, eight winners of some of the biggest competitions for young chefs were automatically selected by the Guild to qualify for a place in a live final at the Restaurant Show.
This year, four chefs aged 18-23 will automatically win a seeded place and will be made up of winners of young chef competitions from the British Culinary Federation, the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence, North West Young Chef of the Year and WorldSkills.
The remaining four will be made up of the winners of two semi-finals to which ten young chefs from industry wide competitions including the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards, Young Welsh Chef of the Year, Young Scottish Chef of the year, Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef, Young Game Chef of the Year, Young Grampian Chef of the Year, Young North East Chef of the Year and South West Young Chef of the Year.
The semi-finals are set to be held at Sheffield College on 18 June and the University of West London on 2 July to coincide with the National Chef of the Year semi-finals.
David Mulcahy, organiser of the competition and vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said the new format was inevitable as more organisations got to hear about the competition.
"When we first launched the title, we selected winners of eight of the biggest competitions in the UK to build up interest and give us the chance to work more closely with associations and groups and their individual events," he said. "Last year, however, regional development agencies and other bodies started asking if they could get involved.
"By working with [sponsor] Knorr and holding two semi-finals with up to 20 young chefs getting the chance to compete, we are able to open up the competition to more of the UK's emerging culinary stars."
Mark Sargeant, the 2006 National Chef of the Year, has been lined up as the competition's ambassador. This year's winner will be revealed along with the National Chef of the Year 2013 at an awards ceremony following the Restaurant Show on 8 October.