Mark Stinchcombe, the inaugural Young National Chef of the Year, has now also been named as the winner of this year’s Young Chef Young Waiter (YCYW) competition alongside Ben Dantzic from Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
Stinchcombe, junior sous chef from Lucknam Park in Wiltshire, competed against seven other chef finalists aged under 25 at Westminster Kingsway College in London to secure his second major title in just a week.
While his choice of dishes, balance of menu and cooking skills were deemed to surpass the competition, head waiter Dantzic impressed judges with his food service, customer contact and wine service skills.
The competitors were required to prepare and serve a meal for four covers from a mystery basket that included partridge, turbot, clams and muscovado sugar.
Both winners receive a range of prizes including £1k from the Savoy Educational Trust, plus a three-day course in Parma, Italy sponsored by S.Pellegrino.
Bob Walton, president of The Restaurant Association, which runs the awards, said: “The standard this year was higher than ever. I know we say that every year, but this year it was absolutely true. The industry should be proud of these youngsters. They are extremely talented. The industry will be safe in their hands.”
Runners up in the Young Chef category were Lahiru Jayasekara from Le Manoir aux Qaut’Saisons in Oxford, and Tom Parker from Northcote in Lancashire.
The Young Waiter Runners up were Julien Gardin and Thomas Aragones, both of The Fat Duck in Bray.
Stinchcombe was given top marks for “three balanced courses of very high quality” at the Young National Chef of the Year competition, held at The Restaurant Show last week. At the time, judge Brian Turner described Stinchcombe as “a very worthy winner”.
The win is also the third for Lucknam Park this week, after chef Hrishikesh Desai was named National Chef of the Year 2010.