In this exclusive video BigHospitality shows what it takes to make it through to the final and speaks to some of those leading the competition about its importance within the industry.
As David Mulcahy, vice president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, the organiser of the competition says, the Young National Chef of the Year should be the toughest competition of its kind: "We are trying to drive out the best young chefs in the UK," he says.
Judge Alyn Williams, winner of the 2012 National Chef of the Year title, also believes entering can also help chefs in their careers: "It helps them develop confidence and a better understand of pressure," he says.
This year's competition, sponsored by Knorr, has taken a slightly different approach with more young chefs invited to compete, rather than all being selected as they have done over the last three years.
Mark Sargeant has also joined as a judge and ambassador of the competition to mentor those in it and guide them to be the best they can: "Some of them are as good as the older chefs, so they'd better watch out," he says.
Eight chefs aged between 18 and 23 will battle it out at the final at The Restaurant Show on Tuesday 8 October before hearing who has won the title at a ceremony at the end of that day.
The finalists are:
- Rory Welch, Broad Chard Pub, Newcastle
- Danny Hoang, Viajante, London
- David Alexander Squire, Danesfield House, Marlow
- Ben Champkin, The Elephant Restaurant, Torquay
- Louisa May Matthews, Eton College, Sodexo
- Daniel Akrigg, Rogan & Company
- Matthew Ambrose, Claridge's