National Chef of the Year - Entry Guidelines

Entry Guidelines Competitors should pay particular attention to:

Competitors should pay particular attention to:

  • Skills – a strong focus for judges
  • Taste & flavour
  • Seasonality (successful finalists will be able to adapt for seasonal changes)
  • Sourcing & provenance (global and local)
  • Menu balance
  • Wastage – (Zero waste theme)
  • Adherence to criteria
  • Mise en place allowed

Timing – menu must be capable of being prepared, cooked and served within a 3 HOUR TIMEFRAME

Mise en Place allowed Unless stated in the criteria for each dish, no preparation is permitted other than:

  • Weighed ingredients
  • Peeled, not prepared fruit and vegetables
  • Basic stocks and sauces
  • Puff pastry, filo pastry 
  • Egg custards (not set) and batters
  • Marinated meats or fish (where appropriate)
  • Marinated, preserved, dehydrated or fermented fruit or vegetable garnishes

Sponsor Ingredients: Note where sponsors are supporting food and non-food items, this will become clear once finalists are announced and at the mentor day.

Please Note:

Dish Photography: seasonal variations will be allowed for the purposes of photographs accompanying competition entries.

40 semi-finalists will be selected from the initial entry stage, announced on Wednesday 26th June.

Successful paper entries - Semi-Finalists are then required to create a short video describing your passion and inspiration behind their menu – details will be given to all semi-finalists on Friday 28th June

10 finalists are then selected (announced Monday 29th July) and will be required to cook their original entry on Tuesday 8th October

Details for the final will be send to all finalists on Monday 29th July

Unless otherwise stated, competitors are required to supply all food and specialist equipment .

Competitors should be aware that cook off for finals will be on Tuesday 8th October and should consider seasonal changes accordingly. Successful finalists will be permitted to make seasonal changes closer to the final in accordance to the rules.

Competitors should be aged 26 years or older on or before 1st October 2024.

Dates to note:

Closing date for receipt of preliminary entries: Friday 10th May 2024

Announcement of the semi-finalists: Wednesday 26th June 2024

Stage 2 (video + supplementary information): Friday 28th June to Tuesday 9th July 2024 (deadline)

Finalist Mentor Day: Tuesday 3rd September 2024, Waitrose Innovation Studio, Bracknell, Berkshire

Grand Final: Tuesday 8th October 2024, University of West London (UWL)

Premiere Awards Celebration: Tuesday 8th October 2024, Hippodrome Casino, London

Wishing you the very best of luck with your application. Results of the semi-finalists will be announced on Wednesday 26th June.

Don’t forget to follow The National Chef of the Year on Instagram @craftguildofchefs #ncoty