M Restaurant and Bookatable by Michelin have announced the finalists of the third Young Chef of the Year competition to unearth the UK’s finest culinary rising star and crown the winner, Young Chef of the Year 2019. In the looming shadow of Brexit, M recognises that now more than ever is the time to celebrate young talent and bolster morale in the hospitality sector. Staff shortages are continuing to rise, and the industry faces some of its toughest challenges yet with approximately 20,000 chefs leaving the industry year on year.
The finalists, all chefs under the age of 30, hail from some of the best restaurants across London and the rest of the UK. Battling it out for the top spot are representatives from a wide range of high-end and more accessible restaurants including brilliant London-based Indian restaurants; Kricket and The Cinnamon Club, Boodle’s Gentlemen’s Club, 5-star hotel The Stafford London and one Michelin-starred Umu.
They were selected after submitting an original four-course menu at £45 per head, together with costings for 50 covers. The chefs all suitably impressed M’s Culinary Director Mike Reid and have now been invited to M Victoria Street to cook in a series of pop-up takeover nights from 9-31 July, with diners and judges voting for their favourite young chef. The voting criteria will be based on the quality of the cooking and marketing on the night. This year the competition will also address another pressing matter with marks awarded to chefs for their sustainable sourcing of ingredients and resourceful handling of food waste.
Throughout July chefs will be judged by a panel consisting of M Restaurant founder, Martin Williams and Culinary Director, Mike Reid, as well leading chefs including Sabrina Gidda, Steve Groves, Ben Tish, Alyn Williams and James Knappett; social media influencer Felicity Spector; and journalists David Ellis and Chris Gamm. Each night a judging panel will be present to score the chef, and this will form 50% of their final score. The remaining 50% will be awarded by the paying diners, marked using the same criteria.
Guests and judges will sample special dishes throughout the pop-up nights such as Seared scallops with strawberries and balsamic (Lily Stock, Boodles); Sweet pea panna cotta, crab, mango & dashi sorbet (Will Bowman Smith, The Swan Inn); Tasting of South Downs lamb, peas, mint & glazed carrot (Jordan Kerridge, The Stafford London) and Cherry parfait, white chocolate glaze, pickled cherries, aerated white chocolate (Michael Turner, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants).
On 27 July, M will host an exclusive evening with The Clink Charity whereby graduates from The Clink programme will have the unique opportunity to run both the kitchen and service of the restaurant. Whilst separate to the competition itself, the evening will continue to showcase M’s fundamental values; supporting the industry from the bottom up and celebrating emerging talent wherever it lies. The price of the menu will remain the same as the previous pop-ups, but this time all the profits will be donated to the Clink.
On 4th September the Young Chef of the Year will be crowned in an awards ceremony held at M Victoria and will receive a trip with sponsors Pommery to the Champagne region of France to explore their vineyards. Additional prizes will be presented for the Runner Up, Most Sustainable Menu and the Best Marketing Campaign.
Each chef’s pop-up night will be £45 for four courses with a welcome glass of Champagne Pommery. To view all menu and book tickets, click here – https://www.bookatable.co.uk/m-young-chef-of-the-year-london?pid=180847