The Craft Guild of Chefs is delighted to announce the eight chefs going through to the final of its National Chef of the Year award, the UK’s toughest and most prestigious chef competition.

The successful chefs were selected following a cook-off at either Sheffield College on Thursday 11 June or at Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London on Wednesday 24 June.

Andrew Ditchfield, Pastry Chef, House of Commons; Paul Foster, Head Chef, Mallory Court; Adam Handling, Head Chef, Adam Handling at Caxton; Mark Kempson, Head Chef, Kitchen W8; Luciano Lucioli, Head Chef, Marks & Spencers Headquarters (Lusso - CH&Co); Lawrence McCarthy, Sous Chef, The Ledbury Restaurant; Martin Carabott, Sous Chef, The Royal Automobile Club and Larry Jayasekara, Sous Chef, Gordon Ramsay Holdings will go on to compete in the National Chef of the Year final at The Restaurant Show on Tuesday 6 October at Olympia, London. They will also attend a Mentor Day at KNORR Kitchen in Leatherhead on Tuesday 15 September where they will be presented with a mystery basket of ingredients to be used in the final and given the opportunity to ask questions about the brief.

David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition says,
“The fact that many so many chefs dedicate the time to enter National Chef of the Year year after year proves the difficulty of the competition and its importance in an ambitious chef’s career. These eight chefs have demonstrated a high level of technical skill and understanding of seasonal-ity - key elements of this year’s brief. However, as in any competition, they will need to raise the bar further if they are to be successful in the final.”

National Chef of the Year is considered the toughest annual challenge for any British chef and winning the title has helped establish the careers of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, David Everitt-Matthias, Mark Sargeant, Steve Love, Simon Hulstone, Hrishikesh Desai and last year’s winner Russell Bateman.

The finals will be judged by an esteemed panel of judges chaired by Clare Smyth, chef patron at the three Michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay.

Clare commented, “This competition is tremendously stressful and a lot of effort goes into it. There's been some phenomenal cooking and some tremendously simple but delicious plates of food.

"It's great to see the same chefs coming back year after year, we are seeing people grow and that's phenomenal."

For more information visit: or follow @Craft_Guild #NCOTY on Twitter.


Notes to editors

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.

Le Cordon Bleu
Le Cordon Bleu London, official hosts and partners of the semi-finals stage of the National Chef of the Year 2016 competition. The prestigious culinary school has 120 years of experience in the in-dustry and offers the finest education in food, beverages and hospitality management across its 40 schools in 20 countries.

For further information, please contact:
Michelle Diederichs,, Tel: 07814 028 664