National Chef of the Year 2016 finalists revealed

The Staff Canteen

There were 40 National Chef of The Year semi-finalists this year but the judges managed to select their top eight who will now compete in the National Chef of the Year 2016 final at the Restaurant Show on Tuesday, October 6 at Olympia, London.

The finalists are: Andrew Ditchfield, Pastry Chef, House of Commons; Paul Foster, Head Chef, Mallory Court; Adam Handling, Head Chef, Restaurant Adam Handling; Mark Kempson, Head Chef, Kitchen W8; Luciano Lucioli, Head Chef, Marks & Spencers Headquarters (Lusso - CH&Co); Lawrence McCarthy, Sous Chef, The Ledbury Restaurant; Martin Carabott, Sous Chef, The Royal Automobile Club and Larry Jayasekara, Sous Chef, Gordon Ramsay Holding.

adam handling heat winner NCOTY 2015 - Copy

Adam Handling

heat winner

National Chef of the Year 2016

This year, the brief is to create an innovative menu for four people, focusing on technical skills, seasonality and sustainably sourced ingredients. The semi-finalists competed in the heats at Sheffield College on Wednesday, June 11 and today at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London.

David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition said: “Today's semi final has been very positive and it had a great buzz as well as a lot of pressure and anxiety.

"This is not just a competition, it's very much a training and development tool too. It's great to see such passionate and motivated chefs putting themselves and their names on the block - not everyone would do that." 

This year all the finalists will have the opportunity to work with a mentor to help them achieve the best result possible in the final. The mentoring panel is made up of well respected chefs from across the UK, including previous winners of the title.

The Mentor Day is designed to focus the minds of the finalists on the task ahead and will include workshops, masterclasses, meet the sponsor sessions and the big reveal of the mystery basket. It will take place on Tuesday, September 15 at Unilever Innovation Kitchen in Leatherhead.

Winning National Chef of the Year has helped establish the careers of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, David Everitt-Matthias, Mark Sargeant, Steve Love, Simon Hulstone, Hrishikesh Desai and last year’s winner Russell Bateman. The esteemed panel of judges will be chaired by Clare Smyth, chef patron at the three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

Clare Smyth
Clare Smyth

Speaking at the semi-final she said: "This competition is tremendously stressful and a lot of effort goes into it. There's been some phenomenal cooking and some tremendously simple but delicious plates of food. "It's great to see the same chefs coming back year after year, we are seeing people grow and that's phenomenal."

For more information visit:

>>> Everything you need to know about National Chef of the Year right here 

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th June 2015

National Chef of the Year 2016 finalists revealed