Following cook-offs at Sheffield College (11 June) and Le Cordon Bleu cookery school (24 June) judges, decided the following chefs would battle it out at the final at The Restaurant Show in London on 6 October:
- Andrew Ditchfield, pastry chef, House of Commons
- Paul Foster, head chef, Mallory Court
- Adam Handling, head chef, Adam Handling at Caxton
- Mark Kempson, head chef, Kitchen W8
- Luciano Lucioli, head chef Marks & Spencers Headquarters (Lusso CH&Co)
- Lawrence McCarthy, sous chef, The Ledbury Restaurant
- Martin Carabott, sous chef, The Royal Automobile Club
- Larry Jayasekara, sous chef, Gordon Ramsay Group
The finalists will take part in a mentor day on 15 September where they will be presented with a mystery basket of ingredients to be used in the final and given the opportunity to ask questions about the brief.
Craft Guild of Chefs vice president and competition organiser David Mulcahy said: “These eight chefs have demonstrated a high level of technical skill and understanding of seasonality - key elements of this year’s brief. However, as in any competition, they will need to raise the bar further if they are to be successful in the final.”
The finals will be judged by a panel of judges chaired by Restaurant Gordon Ramsay chef-patron Claire Smyth. She said: "This competition is tremendously stressful and a lot of effort goes into it. There's been some phenomenal cooking and some tremendously simple but delicious plates of food.
"It's great to see the same chefs coming back year after year, we are seeing people grow and that's phenomenal."