Cream of the Culinary World to Judge the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition

Cream of the Culinary World to Judge the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition 2

The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition

As president of the Restaurant Association and founder of The Nth Degree Club, Robert Walton MBE wanted to update this national competition. The Nth Degree is a private members club based around fine dining, so Robert has been perfectly placed to revive the concept which was last held in 2012. The Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which for 2019 has amazing sponsors including Magnum, Arla Pro and the Cayman Islands, is a national competition open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background. The event is supporting The Springboard Charity’s FutureChef and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School. Pictured above Merlin Labron Johnson.

Cream of the Culinary World to Judge the Young Chef Young Waiter Competition 3
Simon King.

“For me being the head judge for YCYW is very special, it’s a completion of my journey as I was fortunate enough to win the competition in 2000. I still remember how it felt, who I competed with and what I learnt about myself. The new revitalised format will be more relevant, engaging, fun and educational, reflecting the modern challenges young professionals now face and showcase the breadth of skill and talent they now need to excel in this industry. I cannot wait until October to meet all the finalist and I know the same applies with the many industry leaders who will be enthusiastically sharing their knowledge, passion and knowhow with all involved.” – Simon King.

The Young Chef Young Waiter Closing Date
YCYW will aim to find the best young chef and best young waiter. Entries are open at and will close on 15 September 2019 where a short-list of 40 finalists of 20 chefs and 20 waiters will be selected. Entry is free for young chefs and young waiters who are 26 years old or under on 29 October 2019. The winners will take part in a live competition on 28 and 29 October where finalists will battle it out to impress the high-profile judges. Winners will be announced at a sensational evening award ceremony on Tuesday 29 October at an iconic London venue.

Jennifer Santner
Jennifer Santner.

“Entering competitions such as YCYW has developed me personally and professionally and has pushed my career to the next level. It is a great opportunity for young talents to stand out and show others what an exciting industry we work in. This course is all about education and learning from other young professionals whilst working alongside the legends of our industry.”  – Jennifer Santner.

“When I first moved to London I didn’t know too much about the restaurant world & what a massive part it would play in my life & what a great career it could be, by working hard & having the correct guidance anyone can achieve their goals, now it’s my turn to give back to the next generation & help showcase what a great industry we work in .” Andy Downton

Robert Walton MBE said: “As the past Chairman of the competition from 2006 to 2012, I’m delighted to relaunch the Young Chef Young Waiter concept and give a new generation a fantastic opportunity to excel in the hospitality industry. The revamped competition will have an X Factor-style to it so contestants can demonstrate their best work and passion for their vocation. I’m excited to partner with UK Hospitality and the Restaurant Association for the 40th anniversary of the competition and we have Magnum, Arla Pro and the Cayman Islands as our title sponsors. I’ve recruited the best people in the hospitality industry so our roster of judges includes Claude Bosi, Emily Roux, Jeff Galvin, Andy Downton, Johanna Wimmer. The final in October is sure to be a star-studded affair to celebrate this prestigious occasion.”

Anne Pierce MBE, Chief Executive of The Springboard Charity: “We are delighted that Young Chef Young Waiter has been relaunched – it will once again play an important part in helping young people progress in their early hospitality careers – and thrilled that YCYW will be supporting Springboard’s FutureChef & FAB programmes run in secondary schools. We see a huge connection. Our school programmes engage young people from 11 to 16 years old, inspiring them to join the industry. YCYW then picks up the baton and nurtures the next stage of their career.”

Jeff Galvin and Chris Galvin.
Jeff Galvin and Chris Galvin.

Young Chef Young Waiter Key Dates

  • 15 September 2019 – Entries close
  • 23 September 2019 – Shortlist announced
  • October 2019 – Two-day event in London with finalists
  • 29 October 2019 – Winners announced at YCYW party

Young Chef Young Waiter article by Paul Godbold

Editorial Team

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