On Tuesday 20th June, for the fourth year running, Le Cordon Bleu London were delighted to host the semi-finals for one of the most prestigious and respected culinary competitions in the UK – the National Chef of the Year and Young National Chef of the Year 2018!
The judging panel on the day included top chefs from across the country such as Clare Smyth, who was our internship partner for the UK Scholarship Awards 2016, National Chef of the Year 2014 winner Russell Bateman, and of course Le Cordon Bleu’s very own Head Pâtisserie Chef Julie Walsh.
There were also some very well-known names amongst the competitors, such as Michelin-starred Chef Will Holland, another one of our previous UK Scholarship Awards chef partners, who has made regular appearances on Saturday Kitchen and Great British Menu, making this year’s competition even more challenging than ever before.
On the day, we welcomed 34 semi-finalists, a lot of whom hold head chef positions in restaurants across the UK, and 22 judges who are all respected chefs within the hospitality industry. Those who had never before visited Le Cordon Bleu were very impressed with the state-of-the-art facilities and the modern equipment that were available for competitors to use in the kitchens to create their dishes.
A lucky selection of Le Cordon Bleu students had the opportunity to help out during the semi-finals and were tasked with the very important job of transferring the competitors completed plates to the judges’ room in one piece! Our students also assisted our teaching chefs in preparing some beautiful canapés for the cocktail ceremony that followed in which the finalists were announced.
As an added bonus, the nation’s favourite coffee brand, Nespresso, organised their own bar offering delicious coffee cocktails and mocktails to all of our guests.
It really was a fantastic day, and Le Cordon Bleu are really proud to be sponsoring such a renowned culinary competition. Well done to all of those that competed in the heats here in London, and good luck to all of the finalists during the rest of their NCOTY journey!