Starting out with a pool of 40 semi-finalists, the list has now been whittled down to 10 who will face off in the final on 1 October at The Restaurant Show in London.
The semi-finalists were required to compete in one of four heats, with the winner of each heat being automatically sent through to the final.
The remaining six places were awarded to the chefs who achieved the next highest scores across all heats.
“We’ve seen some really innovative dishes this year and a huge variety in the methods and styles of cooking,” says Gary Jones, who chairs this year’s judging panel and is executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
“For the ten finalists, my advice is don’t waste this opportunity, put everything you’ve got into it as only one chef will walk away as the winner.
“The final will be a huge learning curve in each chef’s personal development and I wish them all the best of luck.”
This year’s 10 finalists are:
- Marc Billings, sous chef at Prestwold Hall
- Fraser Bruce, head chef at The Halsetown Inn
- Mehdi Lahmadi, junior sous chef at Coworth Park Hotel
- Steve Groves, head chef from Roux at Parliament Square
- Nick Edgar, head chef at The Ryebeck Hotel
- Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle
- Ben Boeynaems, head chef at The Zetter Hotel
- Harry Kirkpatrick, sous chef, Trinity Restaurant
- Karl O’Dell, head chef at Texture London
- Nick Smith, head chef at Vacherin
Former NCOTY winners include some of the UK’s most high-profile chefs such as Gordon Ramsay (1992), Mark Sargeant (2002) and Russell Bateman (2014).
Kuba Winkowski, head chef of The Feathered Nest Inn in the Cotswolds, won the competition last year.