Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 Finalists Announced

14 December 2020

The finalists for Young Chef Young Waiter UK and China / South East Asia competition have been announced for 2020. The sixteen UK finalists and nine China / South East Asia finalists were chosen by our UK Head Chef Judge Theo Randall, UK Head Waiter Judge Simon King and Chairwoman of China / South East Asia Judges Ching He Huang.

Young Chef Young Waiter Finalist
Lewis Glaister of Scott’s
Young Chef Young Waiter Finalist
Alexandra Henderson of The Lansdowne Club
Young Chef Young Waiter Finalist
Declan Wilkins from The Hand and Flowers

The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition

The Young Chef Young Waiter competition, which was established in 1979, was relaunched by The Nth Degree Global last year in partnership with UKHospitality and the Restaurant Association, to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation. The event is supporting The Springboard Charity’s FutureChef and the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts Adopt a School.

Young Chef Young Waiter UK is being supported by Mercedes-Benz Retail Group, Arla Pro UK, Alpha Rewards, TheFork, Tatler, Paymentsense, KuulEats ‘For the Independents’, Firetree Chocolate, Cayman Islands, Wine&Something, DIGICOOL, The Mussel Man, Champagne Frerejean Frères, Caviar House & Prunier, HG Walter, Steelite, Lynn Mackie Bespoke Uniforms and YesChef. Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia is supported by Wynn, Lee Kum Kee, Yukata, EVA Air, Wing Yip. Find out more about our supporters here.

The finalists submitted a video entry and questionnaire which was assessed anonymously by our panel of judges (any judges connected to an entrant, did not judge that specific entry).

Young Chef Young Waiter UK

Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year are:

Alexandra Henderson The Lansdowne Club

Ali Halbert Hencote, The View

Freya Popham Restaurant Associates, Societe Generale

Lewis Glaister Scott’s

Liam Smith The Gleneagles Hotel

Masudi Nestor Pene Claude Bosi at Bibendum

Peter Meechan Gleneagles Hotel

Valère Ruiz 14 Hills

Finalists for Best Young Waiter of the Year are:

Cristina Daniela Gaucho

Declan Wilkins The Hand and Flowers

Florian David The Waterside Inn

George Smart The Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

Hellie Honney The Gleneagles Hotel

Martin McRae The Gleneagles Hotel

Remy Baben Wild Honey St James

Ruhit Abdul Hide Restaurant

Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia

Finalists for Best Young Chef of the Year are:

Qing lee Chen Imperial Treasure

Tibor Palasti The Sushi Bar Harrods

Maurine Lordios Kai Mayfair

Kevin Hoang Lu Ban

Finalists for Best Young Waiter of the Year are:

Sabrina Aquilina Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel

Julien Peigneux Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel

Marie Bouquet Shangri-La Hotel

Simone Rizzo Ting Restaurant & Lounge, Shangri-la Hotel

Iris Buchner A Wong Restaurant

Young Chef Young Waiter Judges
YCYW Chairman Robert Walton MBE
Young Chef Young Waiter Judges
YCYW UK Head of Chef Judges Theo Randall
Young Chef Young Waiter Judges
YCYW UK Head of Waiter Judges Simon King
Young Chef Young Waiter Judges
Chairwoman of YCYW China / South East Asia Ching He Huang

The Judges Young Chef Young Waiter UK

Our digital entries were judged by leading figures from the hospitality industry. The judging panel for Young Chef Young Waiter UK includes our Head Chef Judge Theo Randall and Head Waiter Judge Simon King along with Jason Atherton, Tom Kerridge, Claude Bosi, Emily Roux, Tom Aikens, Jeff and Chris Galvin, Andy Downton, Brian Turner CBE, Adam Handling Johanna Wimmer, Merlin Labron-Johnson, Sanjay Dwivedi, Ruth Hansom, John Williams, Ollie Dabbous, Matthew Ryle, Adam Simmonds, Dimi Leivadas, Jennifer Santner, James Fleming, Beatrice Bessi, Andrew McKenzie, Dimitri Bellos, Jonno Forbes, Luigi Cagnin and Antonio Salvatore. Read more about judges here.

The Judges Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia

The panel of judges includes Ken Hom OBE, Andrew Wong of Michelin Starred A Wong, Tony Truong of Mei Ume at The Four Seasons, Chef Wee Boon Goh at Imperial Treasure and Chef Chong Choi Fong of China Tang at The Dorchester. For the Front of House Young Waiter Judges we have Restaurant Director Alan Tang of Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, Andy Downton of Park Chinois, Bernard Yeoh of Kai Mayfair, John Man at China Tang at The Dorchester. Read more about our judges here.

Robert Walton MBE said: “As we reach the end of 2020, we are optimistic for 2021. This has been a turbulent year for hospitality yet it has been heartening to see the support and ingenuity from everyone in the industry. Young Chef Young Waiter harnesses the talents of young professionals and the competition offers them a platform for the future. We are grateful to all our sponsors and partners for their continued support and we will look forward to the final.”

Theo Randall said: “2020 has been very difficult for everyone, but particularly those of us who work within hospitality. YCYW is a fantastic platform for young talented professionals to show off their skills and this year has been no exception. The quality of the entries has been better than ever and I only wish we could have seen their talents…I look forward to 2021 when we can get back to judging this truly great competition. Thank you to everyone that has taken part, especially the sponsors, who have offered their time and products at a very challenging time.”

Ching He Huang said: “It has been a tough year for the hospitality industry, despite this we are delighted to have attracted some high calibre entrants within our industry. The aim of this competition is to support the next generation of talent to recognise and award those who continue to give their all, as well as attracting promising young talent to work in our special industry. We are all still very determined to continue with this goal. It is a shame the competition cannot go ahead for safety reasons in 2020. I wish to personally thank all the leading judges and sponsors for all their time and generous support thus far. Together, we look forward to crowning and celebrating the winners of Young Chef Young Waiter China/South East Asia, making it even better in 2021!”

Supporters of Young Chef Young Waiter UK

Mercedes-Benz Retail Group | Stephen Hanifan Fleet Sales Director said: “We are proud to support an important initiative such as Young Chef Younger Waiter UK– especially with the synergies that the Mercedes-Benz brand stands for. Our cars are synonymous with innovation and sustainable luxury and at Mercedes-Benz Retail Group – we are huge advocates in developing and nurturing young talent. Well done to the finalists and we look forward to hearing who will be awarded Young Chef Young Waiter UK for 2020.”

Alpha Rewards | Lindsay Treasure, Managing Partner – Alpha Solutions group of companies said: “The Alpha Rewards platform not only provides the tools an employer needs to attract, reward and retain employees but also provides much needed every-day support and never has this been more vital for an industry which is one of the largest employers in the UK and yet has been one of the least supported during these unprecedented times. We are delighted to continue supporting the Young Chef Young Waiter competition which highlights the wonderful talent coming up through the industry and deserving of all our attention. As businesses and individuals, the support and encouragement we can give the next generation of achievers, now more than ever, is vital for the continued success of our society. EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION AT ITS FINEST!”

Arla Pro UK | Jonathan Dixon, Vice President – Arla Pro UK said: “Arla Pro is focused on delivering the best of dairy for use in professional kitchens. We give our chef partners the means to mastery with milk, cheese and butter products tested for kitchen performance and made with the highest quality milk from our farmer owners. We are delighted to be sponsoring YCYW and making a positive impact on the future of hospitality in the UK.”

Arla Pro UK | Jenna Hodgson-Silke, Head of Marketing – Arla Pro UK said: “We work with professional chefs all over the world to develop natural, high quality dairy products that function in the professional kitchen and we understand that better food means better business. Our farmer owners are proud to sponsor Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 and give support to the next generation of talent which will drive the industry forward.”

The Cookaway | Company founders Nidhi and Sahil Verma, said: “The Cookaway team is excited to be able to support the Young Chef, Young Waiter Awards this year. There has never been a more important time to support the restaurant industry and the young talent shaping its future. As a team of experienced chefs ourselves, we know the immense value that comes from championing fresh new talent and helping to ensure brilliant chefs and waiters gain the recognition they deserve. We’re proud to be a part of this great tradition”. 

The Fork | Patrick Hooykaas, The Fork MD, says: “We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of Young Chef Young Waiter. As the UK’s leading online restaurant reservation site we have unwavering support for the restaurant and hospitality industry. It is important that we all support initiatives which invest in and help the development at the grass roots of the industry to inspire and nurture the next generation. We look forward to being part of this successful event.”

KuulEats | Simon Rand of KuulEats said:”KuulEats is proud to sponsor the Young Chef Young Waiter competition and to support the next generation of talent in the UK. As innovators in the restaurant tech world, we also want to celebrate those that innovate in the hospitality industry”

Musselman | Robert Bicker and Francoise Fielding said: “Musselman is delighted to support the Young Chef Young Waiter Award as a sponsor and play our part in recognising the outstanding achievements across the industry. Being able to identify and award young talent is fundamental in creating and driving forward the very highest standards and we are amouncly proud to be a part of this process. This year’s winners will no doubt be fantastic examples of how truly vibrant and resilient our industry is. It’s always inspiring to see such a wide range of skills and innovation being applauded.”

Paymentsense | Guy Moreve, Chief Marketing Officer of Paymentsense said: “YCYW is a fantastic and prestigious competition that really understands and recognises the level of talent and dedication it takes to be a fantastic chef or waiter. This year the hospitality space has seen unrivalled challenges, and business owners have worked tirelessly to save and transform their restaurants, pubs and cafes. We want to acknowledge their colossal efforts by supporting the industry and it’s promising future. Paymentsense is grateful for all of our amazingly stoic customers in the food and beverage space, and wider restaurant owners. They have not only weathered the storm, but come out with a whole new lease of life and passion to serve their community and customers. We’re excited to see the next generation rise through the ranks and the future of great food.”

Supporters of Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia

Wynn | Kristoffer Luczak, Executive Vice President of Food & Beverage for Wynn Macau, Limited said, “Wynn has been actively cultivating young talents to further promote the development of the food and beverage industry. The Young Chef Young Waiter Competition is an ideal platform to recognize young professionals and Wynn is proud to support its efforts, hoping to inspire this next generation to pursue their future career development and contribute to the industry.”

Lee Kum Kee | By Ms Maria Chong, Managing Director of Lee Kum Kee: “We are always happy to support the foodservice industry development in one way or another. Besides, this is a tough year for the restaurants industry due to pandemic. We are grateful to be part of this meaningful event to keep the industry going while encouraging young talents to live up with their passion in pursuit of a colourful career in the foodservice industry and the culinary world. Our company mission is very much in support of culinary culture development, hence simply a perfect match.”

EVA Air | Bruce Wang, General Manager of EVA Air UK Branch: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Young Chef Young Waiter China/Asia 2020 Awards. EVA Air has an excellent reputation for its onboard food and wine and our links to this high profile event help provide the perfect opportunity to highlight these credentials and at the same time support a very worthy event.”

Wing Yip | Director, Brian Yip said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Young Chef Young Waiter competition and awards. It is imperative that as an industry we continue to encourage young culinary talent. Competitions such as this are a fantastic way to bring together the great and the good in hospitality to inspire and share their talent and experience with our chefs and front of house of the future. Congratulations to all of the finalists and best of luck!”

About our Young Chef Young Waiter UK Sponsors



Mercedes-Benz Retail Group

Mercedes-Benz is one of the World’s most recognised brands – and our cars are synonymous with innovation and sustainable luxury. Our ever-growing portfolio includes; EQ all-electric vehicles such as the EQC, to EQ Power plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the E-Class, to AMG performance models. Also, the recently launched new S-Class is the most advanced car ever built by Mercedes-Benz.

Our specialist team at Mercedes-Benz Retail Group are on hand to support you in finding your next car – and now, in the same way that we may shop ingredients for our next meal or our dining experience – you can find your new car from the luxury of your own home.

Contact us at

Alpha Rewards

Part of the Alpha Solutions family of companies providing support to businesses and business owners for over 30 years, from SME’s to PLC’s.

Alpha Rewards is designed to help you recruit, retain and reward your staff today with the most innovative Employee Rewards platform available leading to more engaged staff and better productivity. 

Alpha Rewards is a true rewards platform that gives a larger choice of offers and bigger discounts to your employees. We achieve high engagement levels with our unique communication support, maximising the benefit and leading to greater employee satisfaction and productivity, boosting staff retention levels.

The Alpha Rewards platform also supports corporate social responsibility with easy access to free and impartial advice and guidance on a large range of life-skills, well-being and financial subjects. Studies show that improved wellbeing results in improved workplace performance: increased profitability, labour productivity and quality of outputs or services.

Our flexible approach and can-do attitude is reflected in a platform that incorporates Benefits, Discounts, Competitions, Peer-to-Peer Recognition, Internal Communications and unique Supplier Opportunities to end-users. 

Alpha Rewards will visit you on-site to discuss your requirements and support your business in the entire process – from initial meeting to staff onboarding – with bespoke roll-out programmes to suit your business patterns.

Visit their website here.

Arla Pro

With roots tracing back to 1864, Arla is a farmer-owned cooperative home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands. Not only is Arla the UK’s number-one dairy company, by turnover and milk pool, but it is also the largest supplier of both butter and spreads and cheese in the country. You will already know us for our famous brands such as Lurpak®, Cravendale® and Castello®. Now we are proud to introduce an exciting new range of dairy ingredients created specifically for chefs.

This new range of Arla products has been created to work brilliantly back-of-house, giving chefs the freedom to cook without worrying about quality or performance. And it’s all brought to you by our new foodservice business Arla Pro.

As a farmer-owned business, we are in control of the quality of the milk every step of the way. So, your customers can expect natural, nutritious milk that’s sourced in a responsible and sustainable way. Of course, being farmer-owned also means that, by buying Arla products, you and your customers are directly supporting the dairy farmers.

All our products have naturalness and quality at their heart. But we also understand they need to perform evenly and consistently in every back of house situation. We’ve worked closely with the Craft Guild of Chefs to ensure they exceed expectations.

Visit their website here.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands has a relationship with the UK that goes back to the first British settlers who arrived on the uninhabited Islands in 1658, and enjoys and is proud of continued close ties to Britain today.

Cayman has been recognised as “the culinary capital of the Caribbean” winning plaudits for the quality, authenticity and international standards of its food and restaurants and food has become a quintessential part of the Cayman Islands Experience.

Boasting more than 200 restaurants and culinary influences from all over the globe, the Cayman Islands provides an endless array of options to suit any palate offering the widest choice of culinary experiences combined with sun, sea and tropical landscapes. Abundant in natural resources, the Cayman Islands is also ahead of the curve in the Caribbean’s farm-to-table movement, displaying a diverse homegrown food scene at various restaurants committed to serving only locally-sourced fare. Unsurpassed service, award- winning chefs and an eclectic array of culinary options make this an Island paradise and a culinary destination which has to be savoured and enjoyed.

Visit their website here.

The Cookaway

The Cookaway is an exciting, young, London-based food brand, with a vision of becoming a global chef platform, combining community, content and amazing products to create meaningful chef-led food experiences. We’ve curated a number of exciting chefs and cuisines and created a completely new kind of recipe box product that our customers can buy without any subscription. We make it effortless for adventurous cooks to access the most mouth-watering recipes and perfectly measured ingredients as well as offer opportunities for people to cook alongside expert chefs and learn their tricks and tips for creating show-stopping dishes.

Visit their website here.


Our digital ideas are bigger, bolder, braver and better.

Are you finding your resources stretched when working to overcome the challenges of 24/7 global businesses? Many agency teams are – but our unique model provides the answer. We don’t wish to brag, but we’re definitely proud of what we’ve achieved for our clients, and about how we’ve grown organically since we started in 2011. Our client care builds relationships that last.

How do we do it? Our workflow management systems and internal technology platform Pulse automate tasks that slow other agencies down, delivering at speed without compromising quality. Pulse provides Branding, UX Design, UI Design, Development, Integrations and Performance Analytics for leading global brands – and it works for you.

Visit their website here.

Frerejean Frères

The three Frerejean-Taittinger brothers built on the deep entrenched family heritage and local expertise to create craft Champagne in the Grand Cru village of Avize. Frerejean Frères is a Champagne of character; both complex and elegant, produced from some of the best parcels across the Côte des Blancs. The production process honors the land, with a low-chemical approach, using minimal pesticides and low levels of sulfites in their cuvées.

Crafting each bottle takes at least five years, and up to twelve years for some cuvées. This immense dedication to the aging process allows minimal dosage for the finer notes of the terroir to shine through. Frerejean Frères Champagnes are wines of luxury and character; both complex and elegant. The three brothers take their time… Frerejean Frères is found in the most distinguished tables, prestige hotels and luxury outlets around the world.

Visit their website here.

Firetree Chocolate

Firetree rich volcanic chocolate is crafted from rare cocoa beans grown on single estates in the remote volcanic islands of the South Pacific and Oceania. The volcanic terroir together with the rain forest flora and sea breezes impart unique, natural flavours to the beans which our chocolate maker teases out by whole bean roasting and long slow conching to produce a smooth, silky dark chocolate, with amazing taste complexity and a long finish.

Our farmers are important members of our team and are proud of the chocolate we produce. We work closely with them to ensure they grow the highest quality beans using sustainable agricultural practice, for which we pay them a significant premium to the market

price. Our chocolate is Vegan and is crafted in a dairy free, nut free factory. It is Halal and Kosher certified.Firetree chocolate is available in a range of 7 varieties each with its unique taste profile.

Visit their website here.


KuulEats is the UKs first truly integrated Restaurant Management System, with cleverly connected waiter and customer apps, built by restaurateurs for restaurateurs. Bookings, EPOS, mobile & contactless order & pay, CRM, stock control, reporting, all in one easy to use piece of software, designed to reduce costs, build loyalty and boost revenue.

Visit their website here.


Musselman is a supplier of an extensive range of the finest quality seafood for both businesses and private customers across London and the South East.

Visit their website here.


Founded in 2008 by George Karibian and Jan Farrarons, Paymentsense is one of the fastest-growing fintech companies in Europe, and proud to be an industry game-changer. They currently supply card machines and e-commerce solutions to over 80,000 businesses in the UK and Ireland.

Combining cutting edge technology, extraordinary customer support and unconventional thinking, they offer lower rates, better service and peace of mind to their customers. Their smart proprietary technology platform enables small businesses to process payments online, in-store and over the phone. For more information visit .

Dojo is part of Paymentsense – a payments provider specialising in helping independent businesses take payments, effortlessly. Based in the UK, and with offices in London, Bristol, Hull, Belfast and Dublin, they currently enable over 50,000 businesses to process more than £12 bn worth of card transactions annually.



Having recently celebrated its 310th anniversary, Tatler remains Britain’s oldest magazine and highly respected by its loyal readership. Tatler is published both in print and digitally, with a dynamic website focusing on parties and people, a dedicated social following and a series of stellar events. Tatler’s powerful mix of glamour, fashion, society, features and fun make the brand unique.

Visit their website here.


TheFork is the leading online restaurant reservation and discovery platform in Europe, Latin America and Australia. Discover more than 80,000 of the best dining spots across London, Paris, Barcelona, Sydney, Buenos Aires and many more with our unrivalled selection of restaurants. Search for restaurant availability at any time and at the best price. With over 17 million verified reviews to guide you, you can discover the perfect restaurant on TheFork.

From exclusive fine dining, casual cheap eats, to local hidden gems, diners looking for inspiration can use TheFork to easily discover the right restaurant at the right time. Plus, when you book with TheFork, you can also enjoy promotions of up to 50% off the food bill at participating restaurants and earn reward points with our Yums loyalty program.

Are you hungry for the freshest sushi in London, the spiciest of the City’s curry’s, the capital’s finest pizza and pasta, or your local- neighbourhood Chinese delicacy? Whatever you are craving, we’ve got you covered! Follow our guide and discover the best restaurants on TheFork.

Visit their website here.


UKHospitality is the powerful voice representing the broad hospitality sector – covering everything from bars, coffee shops, contract catering, hotels, nightclubs, visitor attractions and other leisure venues.

It was formed from the merger of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA) in April 2018. Its main aims are to represent the sector, promote the sector, share best practice and create an unrivalled networking platform.

The sector is a major contributor to the UK economy, employing 2.9 million people and generating £130bn in economic activity, while paying £38bn in taxation to fund important local and national services. Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined.

Visit their website here.

5 Knives

We might be the new kids on the block, but we know how to craft unique, exquisite knives that perform beautifully and look fantastic. Collectively, we are on a mission to turn our passion into a tool kit for professional and home cooks. At 5 Knives, we believe a chef only needs five knives to conquer all in the kitchen.

We are proud to offer our unique collection of knives, designed in the UK, endorsed by chefs, and forged without compromise. We create every one of our knives with passion, knowledge, and honesty.

All of our products are thoroughly tested and supplied with a certificate of authenticity. We even provide a care package to tell you how best to look after your knife. Working in close partnership with professional chefs, we deliver knives that provide precise results time after time.

Visit their website here.

About our Young Chef Young Waiter China / South East Asia Supporters


EVA Air is a Star Alliance member and one of only 10 SKYTRAX-rated 5-Star airlines worldwide. The carrier was established in 1989 as Taiwan!s first privately owned international airline. It is part of the respected Evergreen Group and a sister company to global container- shipping leader Evergreen Line. It flies a fleet of more than 80 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to over 60 international destinations throughout Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America where gateways are Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver. Travellers can learn more about EVA Air and schedule, book and buy tickets at

Lee Kum Kee

Lee Kum Kee is the leading Chinese sauce brand and the inventor of Oyster Sauce. From a 2-product brand to a brand that offers over 200 products across the world, Lee Kum Kee is proud of its 132 years of heritage and expertise in producing high quality authentic Chinese sauces. It has made it a household name among Chinese families and the brand of choice of Michelin chefs and restaurants around the world. It is also the number 1 Oyster Sauce brand and the fast growing Soy Sauce brand in the UK. Its wide range of sauces are stocked by all major supermarkets, online groceries, Asian supermarkets and Cash and Carry, and foodservice wholesalers.

Visit their website here.

Yutaka and Tazaki Foods

Yutaka is a leading Japanese food brand and we provide a great selection of Japanese food products to consumers and an extensive range of food services products to professionals.

Tazaki Foods, the name behind Yutaka brand, is a leading importer, developer and distributor of Japanese food and drinks in the UK and Europe. Tazaki foods supply a wide range of brands and are trusted by leading restaurants, retailers and manufacturers to consistently deliver high quality and innovative products.

Visit their website here.

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