Two former Pembrokeshire College hospitality students made it through to the final ten in the Craft Guild Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY) Competition 2020 with George Harding securing the bronze medal.
George Harding, now employed as Senior Chef de Partie at The Atlantic Hotel and Ocean Restaurant, Jersey, and Sam Everton who secured a Medallion of Excellence as part of Squad UK when they competed at WorldSkills in Russia during August, went head-to-head after making it through to the last round of the competition which took place at The Restaurant Show, London on 1 October.
The Young National Chef of the Year competition represents the most talented pool of young chefs in the UK. With a focus on core skills, the ten chefs had to incorporate current trends and techniques into dishes to embellish and enhance them. Entrants were judged on a good understanding of basic skills, simplicity, flavour and excellence in the execution of finished dishes.
Hrisikesh Desai, chair of judges for the YNCOTY competition, said: “The Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year competition is a unique opportunity for a young chef to put their career on a fast track, as you are judged by some of the best in the British culinary industry. Just by taking part, a young chef will realise how amazing this opportunity is as it challenges to bring the best out of a person.”
As part of the competition the ten finalists were asked to create two different vegetarian or vegan canapés for the starter and a Norwegian cod main course garnished and served with a hot, warm or cold sauce. The finalists served a plated dessert using a Victoria sponge as a base.
Following the judging Hrisikesh Desai commented: “It wasn’t easy to decide the winner and it was extremely close, coming down to tiny details.”
Head of Faculty for Hospitality at Pembrokeshire commented: “We are immensely proud of our former Hospitality learners. Staff and learners have been following their journeys since they left college and they are a tremendous source of inspiration for our current and future “would-be chefs”.
George and Sam visit the college often to share their experiences and work with our trainee chefs. We know they will be even bigger stars in the future and cannot wait to see what the future holds for them.”
The competitions are run in partnership with KNORR and Lockhart Catering Equipment and are supported by British Premium Meats, CCS, Churchill, Direct Seafood, Evolve Recruitment, HIT Training, Mash, Norwegian Seafood, OpenTable, Ritter Courivaud, Santa Maria, Sousvide Tools, UNOX, Quorn and WearerTech.