Young National Chef of the Year 2014 finalists are announced

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd July 2014

The Young National Chef of the Year 2014 finalists have been announced. The Craft Guild of Chefs, in partnership with Knorr, has announced the 8 chefs who have cooked their way through to the final.

The talented young finalists are; Julien Pickersgill, British Culinary Federation Young Chef of the Year, Josh Bingham, highest achiever at the Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards and the soon to be revealed highest achiever at the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence had automatically been seeded a place in the final.

April Lily Partridge and Mark Sergeant
April Lily Partridge and Mark Sergeant

They will be joined by James Goodyear (Sheffield heat winner), April Lily Partridge (London heat winner), Daniel Lee and Claire Willett who were selected following the semi-final cook-offs held at Sheffield College on Tuesday 10th June and Wednesday 25th June at Le Cordon Bleu in London.

The 8 chefs going through to the final are:

Julien Pickersgill, House of Commons, London

Josh Bingham, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire

April Lily Partridge, The Club at The Ivy, London

Claire Willett, Wyboston Lakes, Bedfordshire

Daniel Lee, Brooklands Hotel, Surrey

James Goodyear, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire

Luke Selby, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Oxfordshire

Soon to be announced ACA overall winner Prior to their Mentor Day at the Knorr development kitchen in Leatherhead on September 9th the chefs will receive the criteria for the final and be given details of the ingredient to be used in each course. The contestants will then compete in front of a live audience at The Restaurant Show on October 7th. The winner and two runners up will be revealed along with The National Chef of the Year 2014 at an awards ceremony following the show.

“There was so much raw talent on show today which makes me excited for the future of the industry and proud to be the competition’s ambassador” says Mark Sargeant, YNCOTY ambassador and a former winner of the title, “Winning Young National Chef of the Year was a fantastic part of my life and a stepping stone to the rest of my career.  We’ve all been looking over the dishes today and I speak on behalf of all the judges when I say that we’ve all been incredibly impressed with the standard of cooking coming from these young chefs.”

Stefan Horsnell, the category marketing director of Unilever Food Solutions, highlights the importance of the competition, “it provides a platform to demonstrate skills, develop careers, and ensure the future of the UK culinary industry is in safe hands", Horsnell, working for the the company behind KNORR® further explains, “It’s our young chefs who will set the future culinary standards in our industry by bringing new flavours and exciting experiences to the table.”

Unilever Food Solutions are committed to supporting Young National Chef of the Year, Stefan Horsnell has been impressed with the standards from the contestants so far, however advises the contestants that "this is where the heat gets turned up as they compete to take the title at The Restaurant Show this October.”

Steve Munkley, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs and chairman of judges says: “Once again these young chefs have demonstrated the extraordinary talent that we have at this level, giving us plenty of reason for optimism. I’m looking forward to some impressive cooking on October 7th.”

For more information visit: or follow @TNCOTY #YNCOTY on Twitter.

>>> Read The Staff Canteen's interview here with the North West Chef of the Year Winner Danny Young.

By Sara Williams

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd July 2014

Young National Chef of the Year 2014 finalists are announced