National chef of the Year 2018 competition open for entries

The Craft Guild of Chefs is accepting entries for its 46th annual National Chef of the Year (NCOTY) competition.

To enter, chefs aged 24 or older on 1 February 2018, must submit a menu for two guests to be served within two hours before 30 March.

Menus should consist of a seasonal plant based vegetarian starter of the competitor’s choice incorporating suitable grains or pulses; a lamb main course to include two cuts and two cooking methods suitable for the summer season; and a modern approach to a classic ‘floating island’ dessert, including a seasonal fruit element of the competitor’s choice.

A shortlist of 40 chefs selected to compete in the semi-finals will be revealed on 18 May.

The chefs will go forward to battle in heats taking place at Sheffield College on 12 June and at Le Cordon Bleu, in London, on 19 June. Ten chefs will progress to the National Chef of the Year final, which takes place at the Restaurant Show on 2 October.

Full details of the brief and an online entry form can be found at www.nationalchefoftheyear.co.uk.

NCOTY former winners include Gordon Ramsay, Mark Sargeant, Simon Hulstone, Alyn Williams, Russell Bateman and Hrishikesh Desai.

Current champion Luke Selby said: “Winning the title of National Chef of the Year has always been an ambition of mine since I took the Young National Chef of the Year crown back in 2014. Having followed the careers of previous winners, I have seen the doors this competition opens. Whilst it was the hardest competition I’ve ever done, it was absolutely worth it to hear my name called out and I would recommend the experience to all chefs.”

Gary Jones, chair of the judges and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir said the focus of the brief was about “showcasing exceptional British produce” and evolving chefs’ skills.

He added: “The written entries must entice our judges as only 40 chefs will be selected to compete in the semis and only 10 will reach the final. So keep it brilliantly simple, on point, on time and true to your own culinary flair. Get ready to impress our judges as NCOTY opens so many opportunities and I can’t wait to help judge some of the most-talented up and coming chefs in the UK.”

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