Craft Guild of Chefs showcases young talent on the big screen

Craft Guild of Chefs showcases young talent on the big screen


Announced at a VIP Awards ceremony in front of some of the biggest names in hospitality, Daniel Cornish, senior Chef de Partie at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is the latest chef to join the Young National Chef of the Year ‘hall of fame’. He took the title by serving up an impressive menu of Scotch broth served with a spelt bread and celeriac purée, fish and chips with pickled cockles, mushy peas and a curried rouille and a pear and macadamia crumble with a set ginger custard.

Sous chef, Matt Nicholls who works at Cheal’s of Henley in Warwickshire was announced as the runner-up with Stephen Naylor who is junior sous chef at Restaurant Story taking third place.

The final took place behind closed doors at CORD by Le Cordon Bleu last month but was premiered tonight on the big screen at the Everyman Cinema in Broadgate. At the cook-off, the finalists presented a three-course menu which centered around ‘British themed dishes’ with a twist. It included a modern vegetarian or vegan version of a classic Scotch broth. Using inspiration from Knorr’s Future 50 ‘Beans and Pulses’ and ‘Cereals and Grains’ categories, judges were on the hunt for an innovative approach and for chefs to elevate the humble broth to a fine dining experience. The main course gave chefs the chance to present their own take on a classic British fish and chips using a prime fillet of haddock or cod from Seafood from Norway. Finalists had to create their own interpretation of the classic crumble using seasonal fruits for dessert.

Chair of judges, Hrishikesh Desai, executive chef/food and beverage manager at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House commented: “I loved designing this brief which allowed the chefs to really show us their creativity and elevate some simple British classics to a fine dining stage. Whilst many admitted to finding the brief challenging, all the finalists rose to the occasion and the variety of dishes we saw across the competition was really inspiring. This made it an extremely close final where we had to look at every little detail including cleanliness and organisation. However, Daniel cooked three consistently beautiful dishes which were well-balanced and the flavours were fresh, light and very tasty. All the finalists were supported by their mentors who had helped to prepare them well for such a big competition. There’s no doubt our industry is in great hands with a bright future.”

Organiser of Young National Chef of the Year and food innovation & sustainability director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, David Mulcahy added: “We had ten talented finalists from a variety of sectors which led to a thrilling final with a truly inspiring criteria. Ahead of the cook-off, the finalists had lots to learn about Future 50 Foods as they put sustainability first and were encouraged to consider other ingredients. It is so important for these young chefs to learn about this initiative and the importance of cooking sustainably as they grow and work their way through the industry. Not only did the finalists all serve up creative, innovative and modern dishes but they executed them really well which is so important. It was both reassuring and inspiring for the judges to see this level of cooking coming from chefs at the earlier stages of their career.”

As well as the title of Young National Chef of the Year, Daniel Cornish will also receive a list of impressive prizes including:

• The opportunity to grow professionally via a work development or trial session in a Michelin starred restaurant, valued at £2,500 courtesy of Knorr® Professional. In addition, he will promote this trial via an Instagram take-over and blog post with Knorr® Professional and Unilever Food Solutions to further raise his profile.
• The chance to join Michel Roux Jr for the culinary trip of a lifetime to Norway, in conjunction with Seafood from Norway. Over three exciting days in early 2022, they’ll celebrate the Skrei cod season at a beautiful fishing village with unrivalled local hospitality, plenty of fantastic food with fishing, hot tubs and hopefully sightings of the northern lights. On their return, the winner will have the opportunity to cook a signature seafood menu at a high-level Seafood from Norway luncheon for press, chefs and industry members, co-hosted by Michel Roux Jr.
• £500 voucher to spend within the CCS (Continental Chef Supplies) range.
• A product prize of £250 and a framed presentation plate from Churchill who will also be taking the winner to a European city for a gastronomic experience.
• Courtesy of Rational, a Dick Premier Plus 11 Piece Knife Set with Roll Bag.
• One year membership to the Craft Guild of Chefs.

The Young National Chef of the Year is run in partnership with KNORR® Professional and is supported by Churchill, HIT Training, Norwegian Seafood, Quorn Foods, Le Cordon Bleu and Worshipful Company of Cooks. You can watch the screening of the senior and young chef competitions at


Issued on behalf of the Craft Guild of Chefs by Digital Blonde Ltd. For more information about the event or to arrange interviews with candidates, judges or organisers please contact or call 07967 823854.

Craft Guild of Chefs

The Craft Guild of Chefs is the largest UK chefs’ association with members worldwide in foodservice and hospitality, from students and trainees to top management working everywhere from Michelin starred restaurants to school catering divisions.