The finalists of the second Young Chef of the Year competition have been announced by M Restaurant and Bookatable by Michelin, in association with Champagne Pommery. The top 12 entrants are now faced with the task of hosting their own five-day pop-up at M in Victoria Street’s RAW Restaurant to be in with a chance of winning the title.
The young chefs are all under the age of 29 and come from some of the best restaurants across London and the rest of the UK, including Hide, Pollen St. Social, Coal Shed and The Curlew. After submitting an original four-course menu at £45 per head, as well as the costs for 50 covers, the chefs further impressed M Group Executive Chef Michael Reid and guest judges in two competition rounds. Now, the finalists have been invited to M Victoria Street to cook in a series of pop up takeover nights from the 3rd until the 28th of July, with diners and judges voting for their favourite.
Guests and judges will sample special dishes throughout the pop-up nights such as Venison, fermented green gazpacho, new potato sauce, onion and chard (from young chef Hamish Pearce); Mackerel Ceviche, oyster mayonnaise, radish and seaweed (from Daniel Andree) and Orange and Basil Posset, macerated peaches, Frangelico biscuits and milk sorbet (from Adebayo Folarin).
“There are two purposes of the competition – to nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens and secondly I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves! Thanks to Brexit the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges,” said M founder, Martin Williams.
Prize categories include the Young Chef of the Year Winner, Young Chef of the Year Runner Up, Best Dish as voted by the judges and Best Social Campaign as voted by Bookatable. The winner and runner up will receive a five-day ‘pop up residency’ each in the 50 cover RAW restaurant at M Victoria St. The winner will also receive a trip to Champagne and a set of Blenheim Forge Knives.
The winners will be announced on the 31st of July at an awards ceremony.