Chef Alejandro Jose Cancino and waiter William Bonfield have been declared the 2008 Young Chef Young Waiter following a hotly contested cook-and-serve competition at London's Westminster Kingsway College yesterday.
The chef from Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is believed to be the first Argentinian to clinch the title in the competition's 24-year history. Bonfield, from the Box Tree restaurant in Ilkley, walked away with the waiting title having competed in the Restaurant Association's competition for the first time last year. The winners, who have to be under the age of 25, were announced at an awards dinner held at London's Jumeirah Carlton Tower last night.
Watch highlights from the eventDuring the competition, the chefs were presented with a mystery basket of ingredients including rabbit, cod and figs. Cancino served pan-fried cod, mussels mariniere, romescu sauce and chips, followed by braised rabbie, pate of its own offal, wild mushrooms and pan-fried foie gras and a dessert of soft chocolate cake, vanilla sauce, chocolate mousse and hazelnuts. Meanwhile, in the waiting competition, Bonfield was required to serve a three-course meal with a complimentary wine and beer as well as demonstrating further technical knowledge throughout the event. Scotland swept the board with the second-place prizes going to chef Rose Greene from the Balmoral in Edinburgh and waiter Katie Watson at Gleneagles hotel](http://www.gleneagles.com/home.aspx) in Auchterarder, while third place went to chef Tristin Farmer of [Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's](http://www.gordonramsay.com/claridges/) in London and waiter Thomas Mercier of the [Vineyard at Stockcross](http://www.the-vineyard.co.uk/). Judges included Bruce Poole of London's Chez Bruce and Stephen Mannock of Darlington College, two-Michelin-starred chefs David Everitt-Matthias and John Campbell, Anthony Demetre, Theo Randall, Peter Gordon, Jean-Claude Breton of Gordon Ramsay, Simon King of Skylon and 2008 Catey Award winners Beppo Buchanan Smith of the Isle of Eriska and Andrew McKenzie. Cancino and Bonfield received a selection of prizes including £2,000 each, an exclusive gastronomic stay including a visit to the Restaurant Show, dinner at Chez Bruce and lunch in the Krug Room at the Dorchester. [Young Chef Young Waiter regional finalists revealed >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/09/02/323185/young-chef-young-waiter-regional-finalists-revealed.html) [Video: Young chefs make the grade at the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards 2008 >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008/09/11/323391/young-chefs-make-the-grade-at-the-craft-guild-of-chefs-graduate-awards-2008.html) *By Amanda Afiya* E-mail your comments to [Amanda Afiya](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) here.