Craft Guild of Chefs appoints Matt Abé and Russell Bateman as chairs of judges

28 February 2024 by
Craft Guild of Chefs appoints Matt Abé and Russell Bateman as chairs of judges

Matt Abé and Russell Bateman have been appointed chairs of judges for the National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) and Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) competitions.

Abé, chef patron of the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London's Chelsea, will lead the judges for the NCOTY, while Bateman, former NCOTY winner and head chef at the Falcon hotel in Northampton, will chair the judging for YNCOTY.

David Mulcahy, competition director and food innovation and sustainability director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, has been collaborating with Abé to devise a brief for this year's entrants.

Mulcahy said: "The Craft Guild of Chefs prides itself on the rigorous judging process we have in the NCOTY competition, and this is always strengthened by us selecting some of the most influential chefs in the UK to chair it.

"We are delighted to welcome Matt Abé as our new NCOTY Chair and we know he will have a huge impact on the success of the competition. To be able to put your dishes in front of a chef that has achieved as much as Matt has will be a huge honour for everyone who enters."

Abé added: "With Gordon being a former NCOTY winner and having judged it previously myself, I know it's a competition that is very much on most chef's radar. I'm so proud to be the new chair of judges and see what I can bring to the event. I want to push new things and continue to grow this amazing competition, celebrating the incredible talent that we have in the UK."

Bateman said: "I absolutely love these competitions and so this is a real honour for me to lead the judging process for YNCOTY. Nurturing young talent is something I am extremely passionate about and having chaired the Graduate Awards previously it seems the right next step to take to follow and support these young chefs' journeys."

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the UK's largest chefs' association, with membership spanning the foodservice and hospitality industries worldwide.

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