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16th December 2020

Young Chef Young Waiter announces finalists

Written by: Edward Waddell
The finalists of the Young Chef Young Waiter (YCYW) UK and China/South East Asia competition have been announced.

The 16 UK finalists and nine China/South East Asian finalists were selected by UK head judge Theo Randall, UK head waiter judge Simon King and chairwoman of China/South East Asia judges Ching He Huang.

The finalists submitted a video entry and questionnaire that was assessed anonymously by the panel of judges.

Last year The Nth Degree Global relaunched the YCYW competition, which was established in 1979. The competition aims to promote the hospitality industry as a career choice. 

President of the Restaurant Association and founder of The Nth Degree Global, Robert Walton said: “As we reach the end of 2020, we are optimistic for 2021. This has been a turbulent year for hospitality yet it has been heartening to see the support and ingenuity from everyone in the industry.

“Young Chef Young Waiter harnesses the talents of young professionals and the competition offers them a platform for the future. We are grateful to all our sponsors and partners for their continued support and we will look forward to the final.”

Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year: (UK)

  • Alexandra Henderson The Lansdowne Club
  • Ali Halbert Hencote, The View
  • Freya Popham Restaurant Associates, Societe Generale
  • Lewis Glaister Scott’s
  • Liam Smith The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Masudi Nestor Pene Claude Bosi at Bibendum
  • Peter Meechan Gleneagles Hotel
  • Valère Ruiz 14 Hills

Finalists for the Best Young Waiter of the Year: (UK)

  • Cristina Daniela Gaucho
  • Declan Wilkins The Hand and Flowers
  • Florian David The Waterside Inn
  • George Smart The Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa
  • Hellie Honney The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Martin McRae The Gleneagles Hotel
  • Remy Baben Wild Honey St James
  • Ruhit Abdul Hide Restaurant

Randall added: “2020 has been very difficult for everyone, but particularly those of us who work within hospitality. YCYW is a fantastic platform for young talented professionals to show off their skills and this year has been no exception.

“The quality of the entries has been better than ever and I only wish we could have seen their talents...I look forward to 2021 when we can get back to judging this truly great competition. Thank you to everyone that has taken part, especially the sponsors, who have offered their time and products at a very challenging time.”

Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year: (China/South East Asia)

  • Qing lee Chen Imperial Treasure
  • Tibor Palasti The Sushi Bar Harrods
  • Maurine Lordios Kai Mayfair
  • Kevin Hoang Lu Ban

Finalists for the Best Young Waiter of the Year: (China/South East Asia)

  • Sabrina Aquilina Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel
  • Julien Peigneux Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel
  • Marie Bouquet Shangri-La Hotel
  • Simone Rizzo Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel
  • Iris Buchner A Wong Restaurant

Huang commented: “The aim of this competition is to support the next generation of talent to recognise and award those who continue to give their all, as well as attracting promising young talent to work in our special industry.

“We are all still very determined to continue with this goal. It is a shame the competition cannot go ahead for safety reasons in 2020.”