Adam Handling named as Head Chef Judge of Young Chef Young Waiter 2021

12 October 2021

Former Young Chef Young Waiter finalist, Adam Handling, has been named the new Head Chef Judge of the 2021 competition replacing Theo Randall. Adam Handling first competed in Young Chef Young Waiter 2011 where chef Marcus Wareing was one of the judges. Adam returns as the Head Chef Judge alongside Head Waiter Judge Simon King, founder of Igniting Hospitality. The Head Judges and 20 UK semi-finalists will battle it out at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE in November 2021.

YCYW Adam Handling

YCYW Adam Handling

Adam Handling – Chef Owner, Adam Handling Restaurant Group said: “I’ve always said that being sustainable doesn’t just extend to food and products, but to the people in our industry and teaching the new generation of chefs and front of house about sustainability and why we do it. Being the Head Chef Judge for such a prestigious competition that’s all about the next generation of talent is an honour – inspiring young people and helping them achieve their full potential is something I’m hugely passionate about.”

Robert Walton MBE, president of the Restaurant Association and founder of The Nth Degree, Global comments: “As a previous finalist of the YCYW competition, Adam is the perfect person to take over from Theo Randall as Head Chef Judge of this historic competition. Adam has been in the shoes of the contestants so he can offer help, inspiration and advice to the next generation. He is the perfect example of where talent, drive and ambition can take you with his successful restaurant group. This year’s competition is especially important for our global ambitions for YCYW. It is thanks to our new partnership with the Department for International Trade that Young Chef Young Waiter and our 20 UK semi-finalists will be travelling to Dubai this year. This is a huge step for the future of the hospitality industry and is the perfect opportunity to showcase British creativity and talent, plus expose the semi finalists to a world stage.”

Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a global platform to showcase British innovation, creativity and collaboration across the six months, from students and families to celebrities and heads of Government. Under the UK’s participation theme ‘Innovating for a shared future’ the topic of how we utilise technology and innovation to grow, consume and provide food sustainably will be a key point of discussion across the six months.

The Young Chef Young Waiter awards ceremony will take place in the stunning UK Pavilion, produced by Avantgarde and designed by Es Devlin. Previous UK pavilions at World Expos have featured menus from some of the UK’s top chefs, including Tom Aikens, Angela Hartnett, Ken Hom and Tom Kitchin.

The Young Chef Young Waiter of the Year competition, in association with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, has been honouring the best young chefs and waiters in the UK since 1979. It highlights the remarkable skills of the finest young professionals building their careers in the industry. Past winners include Raymond Blanc OBE, Heston Blumenthal OBE and Angela Hartnett MBE.

Adam Handling is the multi award-winning Chef/Owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group which includes Frog by Adam Handling and Eve Bar in Covent Garden, The Loch & The Tyne in Old Windsor and Ugly Butterfly restaurant and bar, on the Carbis Bay Estate, in St. Ives, Cornwall. A highly accomplished chef, Adam Handling’s beautifully presented modern British dishes start with careful sourcing of top quality, seasonal ingredients, prepared in a number of different, creative ways to enhance their inherent properties and deliver real depth of flavour and harmony whilst maintaining a firm commitment to sustainability.


The 20 UK semi-finalists will compete at the Competition Finals in Dubai:

Monday 15 November: Semi Final: 10 Chefs and 10 Waiters

Tuesday 16 November: Final: 5 Chefs and 5 Waiters

Tuesday 16 November: Winners will be announced at the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai in the UAE on the evening.

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