There will be eight finalists in total. The last place is set to go to the winner of the Academy of Culinary Arts Awards of Excellence, which is to be announced in July.
The two heat winners, and the five highest-scoring chefs ‒ from the heats at the Cordon Bleu in London and Sheffield College, which also decided the ten National Chef of the Year 2018 finalists ‒ were:
- Danny Young from Northcote Manor
- Henry Wadsworth from Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons
Heat highest scorers
- Arthur Bridgeman Quin from The Punchbowl Inn
- Daniela Tucci from The Art School Restaurant
- Thomas Reeves from L’Enclume
- Alex Walker from 21 Hospitality Group
- Jacob Gosselin from Highlands Academy of Culinary Arts
They join Amber Francis, apprentice chef at The Ritz, and the highest achiever in the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Graduate Awards; and Frances Attwood from Simpsons Restaurant, who won the British Culinary Federation Chef of the Year.
The names were revealed at the same time as the finalists of this year's National Chef of the Year, which included Ben Champkin of L'Enclume, who was YNCOTY in 2013.
“What has been interesting this year is hearing the stories behind the menu creation, ingredient sourcing and inspiration for the dishes,” says David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition.
“The relationship between the chefs and what and why they produced each dish has really stood out for me this year. We’ve noticed the difference in dishes coming from different areas of the country, showing the importance of sourcing and seasonality.”
Chair of judges for NCOTY and executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Gary Jones said: “Chefs should not underestimate what they have all achieved here today. This is the very best cooking competition in the UK. I would urge those that did not get through to use the experience as a positive and come back even stronger next year.”