All 16 finalists of The Restaurant Association’s 2009 Young Chef, Young Waiter (YCYW) competition have now been picked to compete at the live final at Westminster Kingsway College next month.
Following the northern and southern heats of the competition held at sponsor von Essen’s Seaham Hall in Co. Durham and Cliveden in Berkshire, and Thames Valley University and Darlington College earlier this month, eight chefs and eight waiters, all aged under 25, were chosen by a panel of judges to appear in the live final on 3 October.
The competition this year saw waiters provide a full lunch service to invited guests for the first time in its 25-year history, instead of undertaking specific tasks for the judges.
The panel of judges, headed by Stephen Mannock from the National Skills Academy for Hospitality, chose Marco Fusato of The Ritzas winner of the waiter’s southern heat, who joins northern heat winner Harald Prock of Mosimann’s.
A separate panel, led by Bruce Poole of Chez Bruce, voted Shaun Dickens of L’Ortalan in Reading and Rose Greene from Le Champignon Sauvage as the respective southern and northern chef winners.
Bob Walton, chairman of the Restaurant Association, said the participants’ standard of skill this year was higher than ever.
“Once again, YCYW continues to highlight the talent that the hospitality industry is producing,” he said. “This was a highly realistic competition which brought out the best in all the competitors and paves the forward for the future development of the competition.”
The Young Chef Young Waiter 2009 finalists are:
Shaun Dickens, L’Ortolan, Reading
Rose Greene, Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham
Nicholas Hill, The Ledbury, London
Andrew McFadden, Pied a Terre, London
Eliza Thomas, Jackson Gilmour, Croydon
Mark Stinchcombe, Lucknam Park
Jenny Thoden, The Church Green, Lymm
Lahiru Jayasekara, Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons
Marco Fusato, The Ritz, London
Harald Prock, Mosimann's
Matthew Balman, Gidleigh Park, Chagford, Devon
Sarah Cooper, The Ledbury, London
Julie Doig, Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s
Catherine Hudson, The Longridge Restaurant, Preston
Daniel Campbell, Number One Restaurant, Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh
Peter Saunders, Northcote, Blackburn