The competition is one of the UK’s most prestigious culinary competitions with previous champions including Mark Sargeant, Alyn Williams and Gordon Ramsay.
Ruth Hansom from The Ritz become the award's first female winner in 2016.
This year the overall winners from the British Culinary Federation, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence, World Skills UK and the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Award will be automatically seeded a place in the final.
The final six places will be taken by those who score the highest at the two semi-finals at Sheffield College on 6 June, and Le Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London on 20 June.
Semi-final places will be allocated to young chefs who have impressed in the following competitions and examinations over the past year:
- South West Young Chef of the Year
- The Master Chefs of Great Britain Young Chef of the Year
- UK Skills runner up
- Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Chef
- Guernsey Young Chef of the Year
- Young Scottish Chef of the Year @ Scot hot
- Craft Guild of Chefs Graduate Awards 2016 achievers
- Junior Chef of Wales bi-annual competition
- North West Chef of the Year
- Young Grampian Chef of the Year
- Young North East Chef of the Year
To celebrate the launch last year’s winner Hansom has taken over the Craft Guild of Chefs’ new Snapchat channel for the rest of the week to increase engagement with young chefs hoping to develop their careers. Chefs can keep up to date with the action by adding craftguildchefs on the app.
“The competition has given me some amazing experiences, like traveling to Madrid and Norway, as well as cooking for Michel Roux Jr,” says Hansom.
“It's going to feel so strange not competing this year, which is why I am so excited to be involved in the launch and share my story and experience through Snapchat. It’s great to see the Craft Guild of Chefs engaging with young chefs in this way.”
The YNCOTY winner will be revealed along with The National Chef of the Year at an awards ceremony at The Restaurant Show on 3 October.