The 33 chefs who have made it through to the second stage of the 2021 National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) competition have been revealed.
Candidates had to create a three-course menu that told their personal story of the pandemic so far.
The judging panel was chaired by chef Paul Ainsworth and included Phil Howard, David Mulcahy, Alyn Wiliams and Russell Batemen.
Mulcahy, who is vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition, said: "The resilience of these chefs is something to be truly celebrated and it shows that when times are hard you can still achieve incredible things when you set your mind to it.
"We have been so determined and proud to keep this competition going throughout the pandemic and have a thrilling final in store later this year."
For the next round the 33 chefs will be invited to present a small signature dish of their choice via video and have been asked to sum up their pandemic year of 2020-21 in two to three bites.
The top 10 finalists will be revealed on 13 August.
The 33 chefs through to the second round are:
- Elliot Hill, head chef, Panoramic 34
- Christopher Niven, executive chef, Marine North Berwick
- Ben Boeynaems, executive chef, the Beaumont hotel
- Jack Shaw, head chef, Lexington Catering/Savills
- Marc Billings, head chef of Prestwold Hall and Hall Barns at Prestwold
- Adam Smith, sous chef, Gravetye Manor
- Cleverson Cordeiro, head chef, Frog by Adam Handling
- Stefan Sewell, head chef, Training RAF
- Ross Brown, chef de partie, BaxterStorey
- David Davey-Smith, SNCO head chef, RAF Wittering
- Russell Plowman, senior sous chef, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
- Thomas Swaby, head chef, Inverlochy Castle
- Marcin Pomierny, head chef, the Maids Head hotel
- Billy Frost, head chef, the Tower hotel
- Andy Wright, sous chef, Falcon Pub, Brunning and Price
- Steven Halligan, chef patron, 1 Charles Lane, Restaurant Metamorphica (currently under construction)
- Andonis Paraskevas, freelance chef, self-employed
- Neal Harding, RAF chef instructor (Cpl), Royal Air Force
- Gary Townsend, head chef, One Devonshire Gardens
- Grahame Wickham, Sgt, Combined Services Culinary Arts Team
- Arbinder Dugal, owner, Arbinder's at Home
- Iain Gourlay, head chef, Cringletie House Hotel
- David Duverger, teaching chef, Le Cordon Bleu
- Lee Parsons, chef/owner, the Parsons Table restaurant
- David Millar, development chef, Six by Nico
- Jainulabedi Shaikh, head chef, the Ivy Collection
- Jomon Kuriakose, chef de cuisine/acting executive chef, the Lalit London
- Thomas Price, head chef, the Marlborough Pub and Restaurant with rooms
- Tim Zekki, chef-patron, Duende
- Martin Lee, head chef, Hartwell House hotel
- Matt Ramsdale, head chef, the Chester Grosvenor
- James Burton, senior sous chef, the Garisson
- Tristan Downes, head chef, Brunswick House