As in previous years, UK presidential judge will be Michel Roux Jr of Michelin-starred Le Gavroche, who will be joined by Amandine Chaignot of the Holborn hotel The Rosewood; Rachel Humphrey, also of Le Gavroche; John Williams from The Ritz London; Simon Hulstone from the Michelin-starred The Elephant in Torquay; Michael Wignall from the two-starred Gidleigh Park in Devon; Andre Garett from Cliveden House in Berkshire; and Claude Bosi from the two-starred Hibiscus in Mayfair.
The full line up will also include Roux Jr’s daughter and chef Emily Roux; Mark Flanagan, chef to the Royal Household; Steve Groves, former MasterChef: The Professionals winner and now head chef at Roux at Parliament Square in London; Romuald Feger, executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Park Lane; and Arnaud Bignon, from two-starred The Greenhouse, Mayfair.
The UK final to the competition, whose ultimate international final takes place in Paris on 16 November, will be held at Roux at Parliament Square in London. The cooking will begin at 7.45am, with judges arriving at 12pm to begin their assessments.
The UK winner will go through to the Paris final, and will be announced by Taittinger Champagne house marketing director Vitalie Taittinger at a canapé and Champagne reception in the evening. The victor will also win £2,000 and a trophy.
Last year’s UK winner was Rajkumar Holuss, of the three Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray.
The competition – regarded by some to be one of the most challenging in French cookery – is open to chefs aged 24-39, who have over five years’ professional experience.
Seven countries including the UK are set to host national finals, with each participant asked to submit a recipe using a whole fillet of beef cooked in a classic style. The chefs will also have access to ingredients from a supplied list, and will also be required to cook a second dish on the day, fitting a theme chosen by Roux Jr.
The winner of the International final will win €10,000 (£8,547), the runner up €4,800 (£4,105), and the third place €2,500 (£2,138), plus a trophy for each.
Lynn Murray, UK marketing director for UK Champagne Taittinger distributors Hatch Mansfield, said: “Champagne Taittinger has always been committed to the promotion of young, upcoming chefs. We are absolutely thrilled to have Michel Roux Jr as UK presidential judge again this year, himself one of the finest chefs in the UK. And with this year marking the Golden Jubilee of the competition it we are sure it will attract the best talent from around the world.”