The M & Bookatable Young Chef of the Year Contest is back for its third year, showcasing the wealth of great young talent in the industry. Following grueling heats in London and Manchester, the finalists will now each host their own pop-up night, with points awarded by both judges and diners – and with top chefs such as Adam Handling and James Knappett on the judging panel, the heat is on.
The chefs will be judged on the quality of their 4-course menu, but also on their approach to sustainability and their ability to demonstrate a zero-waste philosophy and ethical sourcing of produce. The winner will not only be crowned Young Chef of the Year 2019, but they will get the chance to cook their signature dish at the awards ceremony on 4 September, as well as receiving mentoring from M Restaurants Culinary Director Mike Reid, and a trip to Champagne courtesy of Champagne Pommery.
Sixteen talented chefs have made the final stages, and will be serving their signature menus throughout July. Find out more about the chefs below, and click book to sample cooking from what could be the next big name in the restaurant world… and remember, 50% of the finalists’ scores are awarded by diners, so this is your chance to help crown 2019’s Young Chef of the Year.
Each finalist will serve a 4-course menu with a glass of champagne for £45 at M Victoria Street
Patrick Metselaar – Kricket
Having worked at top restaurants including Tamarind of Mayfair, Duck and Waffle and now Kricket, Patrick describes his menu as ‘bringing together my Indian experience with my British/European experience.’ His dishes live up to this billing, with innovative creations including an Indian-inspired toasted sandwich with Neal’s Yard cheese, and a pork cheek vindaloo with dandelion.
Book Patrick’s pop-up here.
Lilly Stock – Boodle’s
Having worked in kitchens since the age of 13, Lilly is now on the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts programme at Westminster Kingsway College. Lilly describes herself as ‘passionate about cooking’ and loves ‘being in the kitchen creating new taste experiences.’ This passion shines through in her menu, which features grilled duck with rhubarb, and buttermilk panna cotta with lychee granita and a raspberry and rose iced tea.
Book Lilly’s pop-up here.
Jamie Warley – St Ermin’s Hotel
Jamie started his journey as a junior pastry chef at Gary Rhodes W1 in 2010, before progressing to head pastry chef at Searcys at The Gherkin, and then working at The Social Eating House, Little Social, Launceston Place and now leading a team at St Ermin’s Hotel. Jamie’s menu showcase his rich fine dining experience, and features dishes such as cured sea trout with watercress and oyster puree, and celeriac parfait with caramelised banana, truffle and bacon.
Book Jamie’s pop-up here.
Davide Mastrangeli – Fairmont
With 9 years of international experience, Davide has worked at The Fat Duck, as well as with hotels in Taipei, Shanghai, Dubai and London. He describes his style of cooking as ‘based on simple ingredients, seasonal, fresh and with zero waste,’ an ethos he displays in dishes like seared scallop with scallop roe emulsion, and coffee millefeuille with blood orange and sambuca sherbet.
Book Davide’s pop-up here.
Stefano Camplone -Barge East
Currently working at Barge East, Stefano was previously head chef at top London restaurants Pachamama East and Neo Bistro. His inventive menu includes cod crudo with foraged nettles and foraged pickled elderberry, and plaice with beans tartare and split fish sauce.
Book Stefano’s pop-up here.
Kishun Chhiba – The Cinnamon Club
Kishun is currently working at The Cinnamon Club, one of London’s most highly rated Indian restaurants. This experience shows in his menu, with dishes including pan-fried salmon with stir-fried vegetables, and an Indian shepherd’s pie.
Book Kishun’s pop-up here.
Milan Maffioli – Bokan 37
Milan currently works at Bokan 37, famed for serving award-winning European cuisine with a view made using the finest British produce. Highlights on Milan’s menu include marinated red mullet with celery coulis, and organic lamb saddle with almond stuffing and amaretto jelly.
Book Milan’s pop-up here.
John Carreon – Holiday Inn
John’s career started at Sheraton Grand Hotel Edinburgh before moving onto the Waldorf Astoria and now Holiday Inn. Specialising in local produce, John’s menu has a very Scottish feel, with dishes such as haggis bon bons with turnip fondant and whisky cream, and duo of Scottish salmon with lemon beurre blanc.
Book John’s pop-up here.
Jordan Kerridge – The Stafford Hotel
Jordan works at The Stafford Hotel in London, where he has honed his skills cooking British and European dishes. Highlights on Jordan’s menu include roasted salmon with cauliflower and watercress emulsion, and tasting of South Downs lamb with peas, mint and glazed carrot.
Book Jordan’s pop-up here.
Will Bowman Smith – The Red Lion
Will describes his Nan as his inspiration for becoming a chef, spending his childhood ‘cooking cakes and sweets with her for other members of my family to enjoy.’ Since then, he has worked in various kitchens including The Inn at Woburn, the River Restaurant at The Savoy and the Rose Vine Hotel in Cornwall. Will’s impressive dishes include pan-fried duck breast with confit leg, roasted fig and fennel textures, and a chocolate and banana tart with lime gel and popcorn brittle.
Book Will’s pop-up here.
Roberto Teccolo – Umu
Roberto works at 2 Michelin-starred Umu, and brings this experience to his menu, which fuses Japanese and Italian influences. Standout dishes include aged sea bass with daikon and infused sesame oil, and a dessert of basil sorbet with tomato, pine seeds and fresh vegetables.
Book Roberto’s pop-up here.
Salvatore Ascolese – Gaucho
Currently working at Gaucho, Salvatore’s menu is an impressive blend of classic and inventive flavour combinations. Sample tomato macarons with ricotta and candied lemon, followed by salmon mi-cuit with compressed pickled cucumber and kumquat, and chargrilled red mullet with elderflower and citrus vinaigrette.
Book Salvatore’s pop-up here.
Matthew Hurry – Laurent at Hotel Café Royal
Now working at Laurent at Hotel Café Royal, Matthew started his career at a 2 AA Rosette gastropub in Colchester, before working at various top London hotels. Matthew’s menu features a chilled courgette velouté with a peppermint emulsion, poached lobster with lobster bisque and a pineapple and spiced rum upside-down cake.
Book Matthew’s pop-up here.
Luke Bryan – Kricket
In 2013 Luke Bryan reached the semi-finals of MasterChef The Professionals, where Michel Roux Jr and Monica Galetti nicknamed him ‘The Spice Master.’ He has since gone onto work at Michelin-starred Benares, Asia De Cuba, and now as head chef at Kricket Television Centre. Luke’s menu is inspired by this experience and his travels in Asia, with dishes including cuttlefish with Goan sausage, and a cardamom baked yoghurt with passion fruit curd, white chocolate crumb and salted peanut.
Book Luke’s pop-up here.
Michael Turner – Gordon Ramsay Restaurants
Michael joined Gordon Ramsay Restaurants as a commis chef at Bread Street Kitchen, working his way up to head chef. He has also spent time working at Michelin-starred Pétrus and has completed stages at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Hand and Flowers. Menu highlights include roasted cutlet and confit belly of Herdwick lamb with watercress puree, and a cherry parfait with white chocolate glaze and aerated white chocolate.
Book Michael’s pop-up here.
Lucy Wigmore – Tewin Bury Farm Hotel
Lucy is currently working at Tewin Bury Farm Hotel and has previously worked at HIX Soho and the Royal Horseguards Hotel. Her inventive menu is packed with interesting ingredients, including salmon with sorrel emulsion and lemon foam, and lamb with wild nettle and lovage puree.
Book Lucy’s pop-up here.