Entries for the NCOTY, which saw BaxterStorey executive chef Hayden Groves claim last year's title, will open on Saturday 1 February with all professional chefs encouraged to enter.
Groves, who succeeded on his fourth attempt into the competition, said: "Winning National Chef of The Year was an amazing and humbling experience, the pinnacle of my career to date. To be included in the hall of fame alongside such industry heavyweights is a dream come true. I urge any chef with the desire to achieve this title to submit an entry.”
To enter, chefs should submit a lunch menu for four guests that can be made within two hours. Categories are Asian/Oriental; Modern British/Modern European and Rest of the World. Every menu must include a vegetable-focused starter, a main course using locally-sourced white fish and a dessert using summer fruits.
Entries must be emailed to email@example.com by Friday 11 April. Following an initial paper judging of the entries, 40 chefs will be selected to go through to the semi-finals. Eight chefs will be selected to go through to the final at The Restaurant Show on 7 October.
Competition organiser and Craft Guild vice president David Mulcahy said: “National Chef of The Year is one of the UK’s most sought after culinary titles and has helped launch the career of some of our industry’s most celebrated chefs. Winning is all about the individual’s performance on the day, coupled with a demonstration of culinary skills and an impressive interpretation of the brief. As any finalist will tell you, it’s an exhilarating and rewarding challenge which opens many doors.”
The Craft Guild of Chefs is also looking for chefs who are 23 and under to enter its Graduate Awards.
The awards, which see entrants complete a number of culinary challenges in a high-pressured environment, are designed to recognise up-and-coming chefs and encourage career progression.
Awards organiser and Craft Guild vice president, Steve Munkley said: “It’s a tough programme but these awards can really push chefs up the career ladder. Finalists will learn from some of the best chefs in the country and if successful will be able to add the prestigious title to their CV.
"I believe the mentor day was the main reason for last year’s high standard as every young chef got so much out of it. We’re delighted this is back for 2014."
Chefs have until 10 May to submit paper entries with a select few invited to take part in a regional cooking test on 11 June at Sheffield College and Cardinal Wiseman School Greenford. A final exam will take place at University College Birmingham on 28 August with only those achieving a score of 85 per cent or abovebecoming a graduate.
Visit www.craftguildofchefs.org for an entry form.