The National Chef of the Year and Young National Chef of the Year are among the UK’s most prestigious and respected culinary contests, they shine a spotlight on the fresh talent coming out of the kitchen. 

Since The National Chef of the Year’s launch in 1972, previous winners including Gordon Ramsay, Alyn Williams and Mark Sargeant who have all gone on to work in Michelin-starred kitchens, have seen how it helps fast-track careers to put winners firmly on the map, creating many opportunities including wider industry and consumer recognition and a host of culinary accolade. 

Young National Chef of the Year, launched in 2012, represents the most talented pool of young chefs in the UK, taking in the winners of young chef competitions from the competitions across the UK. 

Only the best, most innovative and creative chefs get a shot at the title – and an award that opens doors to future success.

Recent winners include Larry Jayasekara and Russell Bateman.To enter the National Chef of the Year budding chefs have to be 24 years or older and working in the UK or overseas from the hospitality sector including hotels, restaurants, pubs, contract catering, fine dining private and public sectors.

The winning chef will receive a wide range of prizes including a culinary trip to one of the world’s top restaurants, stagiaire opportunities, equipment from sponsors and chocolate workshops. They will also go on to be part of the National Chef of the Year 'Hall of Fame'.

David Mulcahy, Vice-President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the National Chef of the Year competition, said: “Whether you have entered this competition before or are considering putting your skills to the ultimate challenge for the first time, I’d recommend entering. You just never know how far it could take you. This competition is not based on a chef’s personality or past triumphs but simply on culinary skills, interpretation of the ingredients and what chefs can create when the heat is really on.”

Clare Smyth MBE, Chair of Judges, said: “Being known as the National Chef of the Year really is career changing. I want to encourage chefs from across all sectors to take part as it’s a fantastic platform to get your name out there. I am proud to be involved in the most respected culinary competition in the UK."

The 2016 winner, Larry Jayasekara, sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings will never forget the moment he was announced as National Chef of the Year. He said “It’s something I’ve always wanted and a dream I was never going to give up on. Simply having the opportunity for your food to be sampled by some of the UK’s most well-respected judges is incredible. However, nothing can beat that moment when you are standing in a line with some of the most talented and up and coming chefs in the UK and it’s you that is declared as the winner. "


Clare Smyth MBE, Chairman of Judges
Philip Howard Chef Patron, Elystan Street
Andrew Fairlie Restaurant Andrew Fairlie
Lee Westcott Executive Chef, Typing Room at Town Hall Hotel
Daniel Galmiche Chef, Writer, Consultant for Starhotels Group
Andrew Pern Chef Patron @ The Star Inn, Harome
Dan Doherty Group Executive Chef, Duck & Waffle Restaurants
Gary Jones Executive Head  Chef, Le Manoir Aux Quat Saisons
Benoit Blin MCA Head pastry chef, Le Manoir
Daniel Clifford Chef Patron, Midsummer
Sat Bains Chef Patron, Restaurant Sat Bains
Simon Hulstone Chef Patron, The Elephant Restaurant
Paul Ainsworth Chef Patron, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6
Brett Graham Head Chef of the multi-award-winning, two Michelin star The Ledbury in Notting Hill
Jonny Lake Head Chef of The Fat Duck at Bray
Stephen Terry Restaurateur, The Hardwick Arms
Matt Christmas Chez Bruce
Claude Bosi Chef Patron
Graham Hornigold Executive Pastry Chef, Hakkasan Group
Julie Sharp Technical advisor , Barry Callebaut
Jonas Dahlbom