National Chef of the Year 2022

Criteria and Task

General Rules and Guidelines

The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year celebrates 50 years discovering and recognising talent.

The Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year Competition celebrates 50 years in 2022. In recognition of this significant milestone, we wish to recognise this through the menu criteria and entries from chefs this year.

We also wish to invite professional chefs from all ethnic and gender backgrounds to join in this celebration and entering one of the UKs longest running and most prestigious competition. There are no barriers to entry and celebrating our rich culture and culinary heritage is done best when reflected by the diversity within the hospitality industry.

As we emerge from a difficult period for the food industry, we look forward to showcasing talent, welcoming chefs, and adding value and career opportunities to those who engage within the National Chef of the Year programme this year and into the next half century of this fantastic competition.

The Task

Competitors are required to produce a three (3) course celebration menu for 2 covers within 2 hours. The menu should reflect a 50th year celebration of this competition through your interpretation of the criteria.

Focus on Sustainability

Future 50 ingredients, highlighting the most sustainable ingredients in the world must feature within the menu in at least one dish.

  • Any one or more F50 ingredients may be used in any dish where the competitor wishes.
  • F50 ingredients should be highlighted within the menu and ingredient list for judges to be aware. Future50Food Download


Starter - A first course which may be a fish, seafood or vegetarian dish worthy of a celebration menu

  • Competitors should focus on technical skill and flavour to deliver an elegant start to a 3course menu.
  • Judges will also focus on sourcing, provenance and sustainability of ingredients used.


Main Course: A main course of British or Irish Venison. The dish should incorporate more than one venison element whether offal, a secondary cut or prime cut.

  • The choice is yours but the dish must make use of ingredients, techniques and cooking style that brings the best from a venison dish.
  • Sourcing and provenance is important and the venison farm or estate must be named.
  • Judges will want to see how natural seasonal accompaniments are showcased within the dish.


Dessert: A warm or cold dessert as a grand finale which provides balance to the menu and a clear wow factor.

  • The dish may be a classic or contemporary dessert worthy of a National Chef of the Year menu
  • Judges will be looking for an inspiring dessert to capture the theme of this year’s menu.

Entry Guidelines

Competitors should pay particular attention to:

  • Skills – a strong focus for judges
  • Taste & Flavour
  • Seasonality – (as the semi-finals take place in September)
  • Sourcing & Provenance
  • Menu Balance
  • Wastage
  • Adherence to criteria
  • Mise en place allowed

Timing – menu must be capable of being prepared, cooked and served within a 2 HOUR TIMEFRAME

Mise en Place allowed:

Unless stated in the criteria, no preparation is permitted other than: 

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

Please Note:

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 8th July.

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 8th July 2022.

10 finalists are then selected (announced Friday 12th August) and will be required to cook their original entry on 14th September

  • Details for the final will be send to all finalists on 12th August.
  • Unless otherwise stated, competitors are required to supply all food and specialist equipment .
  • Competitors should be aware that cook off for finals will be in September and should consider seasonal changes accordingly. Successful finalists will be permitted to make seasonal changes closer to the final in accordance to the rules.

Frequently Asked questions & Online Entry Guidelines

The National Chef of the Year Entry 2022