The Restaurant Association has today announced the 16 finalists of the 2011 Young Chef Young Waiter competition following the southern regional finals.
Four chefs and four waiters will go forward to the national finals next month following the chef event at the University of West London, Ealing, held last week, and the waiter event held yesterday at Rashleighs, Nestlé's Business Centre.
The winner of the southern regional chef competition was Chris Johns (pictured), junior sous chef at L'Autre Pied (below, with Bob Walton), London, while Emilio Pietro Conti of Coworth Park, Ascot, won the southern regional waiter competition.
Three runners-up in each category have also made it to the final (see full list below).
Organised by the Restaurant Association in partnership with the Savoy Educational Trust and American Express, the competition rewards the best young chef and young waiter aged 25 and under.
Bruce Poole, chef-proprietor of the Michelin-starred Chez Bruce is chair of the chef judging panel, which includes Michelin-starred chefs Angela Hartnett, chef-patron of Murano; Phil Howard, chef-patron of the Square; and Gary Jones, executive chef at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons.
Stephen Mannock from the National Skills Academy of Hospitality will be the chair of the waiter judging panel, which will also include Simon King, front-of-house operations manager at the Fat Duck; Simon Girling, restaurant manager at the Ritz; and Jeremy Rata, managing director of Bovey Castle.
Bob Walton, chairman of the competition and president of the Restaurant Association, said that every year, the standard of entries got higher and higher.
"We can be really proud of all these young people who show so much talent. They are the future of the industry."
The final will be held at London's Westminster Kingsway College on 19 October.
YOUNG CHEF FINALISTS
Tom Barnes, L'Enclume, Cartmel
Jonathan Bone, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
Steven Ellis, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London
Adam Handling, Fairmont St Andrews, Fife
Chris Johnston, L'Autre Pied, London
Chris Kenny, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxford
Ryan Murphy, Turnberry Hotel, Ayrshire
Thomas Swanborough, Wiltons, London
YOUNG WAITER FINALISTS
Emilio Pietre Conti, Coworth Park, Ascot
Claudio Di Somma, the Ritz, London
Paul Foxon, the Ritz, London
Sophie Henderson, Coworth Park, Ascot
Carine Jau, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, Oxford
Tobias Klaas, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, London
Burak Sen, the Ritz, London
Romain Taverne, Galvin at Windows, London
By Janie Stamford
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