Founded in 1984, the notoriously tough French skills competition is overseen by the Roux family, with previous winners including Sat Bains (1999), Andre Garrett (2002) and Simon Hulstone (2003).
Chefs Alain and Michel Roux Jr took over from their fathers Michel and Albert Roux as joint chairman in 2016.
This year’s chefs have until midnight on 31 January 2018 to submit a recipe for four people using two whole gilthead sea bream (Daurade Royale), weighing anywhere between 600g - 800g each (maximum 1kg) and one variety of mollusc, plated with two garnishes/accompaniments. One must include green globe artichokes and the other to be a garnish/accompaniment of their choice. A sauce must accompany the dish.
Eighteen chefs with the best recipes will be invited to cook their dish and a ‘mystery box’ dessert at regional finals in Birmingham and London on 8 March 2018.
The final will be held in London on 26 March with the winner announced at a ceremony at The Langham, London that evening.
The winner will receive £6,000 and an all-expenses paid three-month stage at a three Michelin-star restaurant anywhere in the world.
This year Rachel Humphrey, Angela Hartnett and Clare Smyth will join the judging panel.
Alain Roux says he hopes the addition of the three top female chefs will encourage more women to enter the competition.
The Waterside Inn chef previously spoke of his 'disappointment' at the lack of women applying and said the contest would remain an ‘all-male domain’ until participation increased.
“[These women] are showing true leadership in giving their time and effort to inspire young chefs cooking in the UK, in particular more female chefs whose participation we hope to encourage," said Alain of the new judges.
There has been just one female winner in the contest’s history. Mercy Fenton, now owner of the Wicked Desserts company, picked up the award in 1994.
An as-yet unannounced international guest chef will also join the panel to judge the final.
Entrants must be aged 22 and above, but no older than 30 on 1 February 2018, and in full-time employment as a chef in the UK.
For full details and to enter click here.