The Ultimate Culinary Challenge

Seen as the UK’s most prestigious and respected culinary content, the NCOTY competition has a long heritage, having helped to launch careers and opportunities for some of the biggest names in the UK’s chef world.

The passion, the emotion and the pure blood, sweat and tears you see in a cook-off, shows how much these competitions mean to a chef. It tests more than culinary skills; it tests character, resilience and raw emotion and only the best will take that top spot. With the prestigious panel of judges, led by Kenny Atkinson, every chef who enters knows they will gain valuable feedback to help them improve; whatever stage of the competition they reach. There’s never been a more important time for chefs to push themselves out their comfort zone and into the NCOTY spotlight.

NCOTY Criteria

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.

See the menu criteria here...

Hear what our winners had to say...

NCOTY Title Holders

  • 2022 Thomas Swaby
  • 2021 Nick Smith
  • 2020 Steve Groves
  • 2019 Kuba Winkowski
  • 2018 Luke Selby
  • 2017 James Devine
  • 2016 Larry Jayasekara
  • 2014 Russell Bateman
  • 2013 Hayden Groves
  • 2012 Alyn Williams
  • 2011 Frederick Forster
  • 2010 Hrishikesh Desai
  • 2008 Simon Hulstone
  • 2006 Eyck Zimmer
  • 2004 Steve Love
  • 2002 Mark Sargeant
  • 2000 Bruce Sangster
  • 1984 Robert Mabey
  • 1982 William Stafford
  • 1980 Ken Whibley
  • 1978 Paul Brady
  • 1976 Eddie van Meille
  • 1974 Bryan Price
  • 1972 Pierre Jacquemin
  • 1998 Kevin Viner
  • 1996 David Everitt-Matthias
  • 1994 Lou Jones
  • 1992 Gordon Ramsay
  • 1990 Roger Narbett
  • 1988 Mark Gregory
  • 1986 David Pitchford