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26th April 2023

Craft Guild of Chefs extends entry deadline to National Chef of the Year competition

Written by: Edward Waddell
With a series of Bank Holiday’s approaching, including the Coronation of HRH King Charles III, the Craft Guild of Chefs has made the decision to extend its deadline for National Chef of the Year. Online entries will now close at midnight on Monday, 22nd May 2023.

Chair of judges Kenny Atkinson’s criteria focuses on food waste and the creative use of ingredients as the UK and rest of the world grapple with the cost-of-living crisis, food inflation, supply chain disruption and ongoing global events, which continue to challenge us all.

The Guild has seen an incredible response to its brief this year with chefs being tasked with creating a three-course menu in just two hours. The NCOTY judges are keen to see how culinary skills along with sustainable, local and global produce are used to demonstrate an excellent understanding of ingredients.

The starter can be a fish, seafood or vegetarian dish with a focus on zero waste. It should have a strong emphasis on vegetables, pulses and/or grains within dishes. Chefs must demonstrate techniques that show waste reduction, whilst using ingredients which are harmonious and belong together.

Chefs should then create a delicious lamb dish using two cuts of lamb that are suitably garnished. The dish must make use of ingredients, techniques and cooking styles that bring the very best from this main ingredient.

For the final dish, it’s all about chocolate as competitors are required to produce a warm or cold dessert. The recipes should include a savoury aspect which may be a vegetable or vegetable derivative to balance and marry the dessert.

Menus and recipes are to be submitted online at At the initial judging stage, all entries are scored anonymously meaning any chef, from any background, sector or culinary role could be put through to the second stage of the competition.

David Mulcahy, who is food innovation & sustainability director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “We know how busy chefs are going to be over the coming weekends and we don’t want this to create a barrier to entering so we have given chefs almost another two weeks to complete their entries. There has been a real buzz around the brief with chefs relishing the freedom to put their own spin on the criteria.

“If you haven’t registered on the National Chef of the Year website yet, I would recommend that all chefs find out more. It can open doors for you and even making the semi-final has been known to be career changing for so many chefs. Grab this opportunity to put your name and restaurant on the map; you might even get all the way to the final and take the top spot. You’ve got nothing to lose and lots of experience to gain.”

NCOTY is sponsored by headline partners, Essential Cuisine and Lumina, and is supported by Churchill, Continental Chef Supplies (CCS), Valrhona, and Hallgarten Wines.