Ten finalists revealed for the National Chef of the Year 2018

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th June 2017

After four intensive heats, the Craft Guild of Chefs has today named the ten chefs who will battle for the National Chef of the Year 2018 title at The Restaurant Show in October.

The names have been revealed after four tough heats involving 41 chef competitors and 20 judges.
Young National Chef of the Year 2013 winner and sous chef at L’Enclume, Ben Champkin was announced as the first chef to make the NCOTY finals when he won the first heat in Sheffield.

>>> Read more about Ben Champkin here

Chair of judges for NCOTY and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Gary Jones said: “Chefs should not underestimate what they have all achieved here today. This is the very best cooking competition in the UK and to be selected to be part of the semi-final is an honour. The energy, commitment and quality has been impressive from all our competitors and those that have reached the final really are at the top of their game. One thing we have worked hard to push as a competition is avoiding wastage and it’s something we’ve noticed that the chefs have focused on both at the paper entry stage and semi-finals. I would urge those that did not get through to use the experience as a positive and come back even stronger next year.”

The Young National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists were also revealed:

Heat winners

Danny Young from Northcote

Henry Wadsworth from Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons

Highest scoring from both heats 

Arthur Bridgeman Quin from The Punchbowl Inn

Daniela Tucci from The Art School Restaurant

Thomas Reeves from L’Enclume

Alex Walker from 21 Hospitality Group

Jacob Gosselin from Highlands Academy of Culinary Arts

Amber Francis, The Ritz, Highest Achiever in the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards

Frances Attwood from Simpsons Restaurant who won the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year

**The final place will be the winner of the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence which will be announced in July.

The ten National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists are:

Ben Champkin, sous chef at L’Enclume

David Davey-Smith, chef, from Royal Air Force Worthy Down

Karl O’Dell, senior sous chef from Petrus – Gordon Ramsay

Thomas Westerland, sous chef from Lucknam Park

Dean Westcar, head chef at Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park

Luke Selby, head chef at Dabbous

Simon Webb, head chef at Restaurant Associates

Kuba Winkowski, head chef at The Feathered Nest Inn

Will Holland, head chef at Coast Restaurant

Adam Thomason, head chef at Restaurant Associates – Deloitte

>>> Related: Luke Selby wins the Roux Scholarship 2017

David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition added: “What has been interesting this year is hearing the stories behind the menu creation, ingredient sourcing and inspiration for the dishes.

"The relationship between the chefs and what and why they produced each dish has really stood out for me this year. For example, we’ve noticed the difference in dishes coming from different areas of the country showing the importance of sourcing and seasonality. There has been so much positivity around this year’s brief of vegetarian starter, duck and cherry main course and classic tart and the chefs have truly risen to this challenge.”

As well as competing in The National Chef of the Year final, the chefs will also attend a Mentor Day on Tuesday, 5th September where they will be presented with a mystery basket of ingredients to be used in the final.

>>>Everything you need to know about the Craft Guild of Chefs National and Young National Chef of the year here

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. 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.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 20th June 2017

Ten finalists revealed for the National Chef of the Year 2018