The 2020 Young Chef Young Waiter Competition opens for entries

Supporting young talent at this difficult time for the hospitality industry

The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition returned in spectacular style last year, following a hiatus since 2012. Having first been established in 1979, the 40 year anniversary of the award was quite the event – and in light of the crisis, this year’s competition is supporting young talent at a particularly pertinent time for the industry.

The competition is open for entries from 15 May, with the final planned for 17 November. Accepting entries from young chefs and waiters under the age of 26, this year the competition will also be open to those who may be currently unable to work or have been furloughed during the pandemic.

President of the Restaurant Association and founder of The Nth Degree Global Robert Walton MBE stated: ‘I’m delighted to launch Young Chef Young Waiter for 2020 online as I believe it is the perfect competition at the perfect time. We are living in extraordinary times, when all our restaurants are closed and the industry has paused while this crisis unfolds. I am optimistic by nature and want to do my best to offer hope for the future to all the young workers in the hospitality industry. So many of our talented young chefs and young waiters are at home right now so this is the time when they now need events and activities to keep them inspired, tested and challenged within the hospitality sector. For our Young Chef Young Waiter competition 2020, as the previous year, entries and initial judging will be online.

‘We will be inviting our shortlist to London for a live final in November as long as Britain’s recovery from the pandemic goes to plan but if not, plans are in place to run the whole competition online. Our ambitions for this competition are global and Young Chef Young Waiter in 2019 was a spectacular success last year. We were especially excited to see that our Young Chef winner Richard Henderson had moved to London to work with one of the UK’s most acclaimed British chefs, Tom Aikens plus our young waiter winner Alessandro Calzavacca is now Headwaiter at the Dorchester London. We are excited to be welcoming the next contestants to the competition and give a new generation a fantastic opportunity to excel in the hospitality industry.’

Entries are currently open online at and will close on 1 September 2020, after which a shortlist of 32 finalists (16 chefs and 16 waiters) will be selected. Entry is free for young chefs and young waiters who are 26 years old or under on 16 November 2020. Entrants can take part if they are currently employed in the role of Chef or Waiter and have been employed for 3 years or more in the hospitality profession (including those who are temporarily unable to work or have been furloughed). The winners will take part in a live competition from 16–17 November, in which finalists will compete before a panel of judges. Social distancing measures and risk assessments will be in place, and alternative plans have been made to hold the final online if necessary. Winners will be announced at an evening event on 17 November, which was hosted last year by John Torode.

This year’s judging panel will include Michelin-starred chef Theo Randall as Head Chef Judge and hospitality consultant Simon King as Head Waiter judge. The digital entries will be judged by leading figures from the hospitality industry.

Led by The Nth Degree Global, in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, sponsors of the 2019 awards included Arla Pro, Magnum, the Cayman Islands and Alpha Rewards.

Published on

Full article available here