Competition celebrates the rising stars of the chef world

Danny Hoang from Colette’s at The Grove in Rickmansworth was named Young National Chef of the Year 2016 in the UK’s most prestigious chef competition, following a tense final at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia yesterday.

Winning the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year title is a huge boost for any young chef’s career and Danny joins a growing list of accomplished young chefs who are now working in some of the UK’s top kitchens.

Danny competed against seven talented young finalists in a challenge which gave the chefs two hours to produce a three course menu for two using oven ready quail for the starter, a main course of fresh hake and their own take on bread and butter pudding for dessert.

Danny’s starter was quail leg and breast, watercress and parsley sauce, hay-baked baby beetroots and nasturtium and his main; seared hake, baby leeks, vinaigrette of sea vegetables, mussels and celeriac, beet batter scraps, mussel cream sauce. His dessert was lightly spiced bread and butter pudding with vanilla ice-cream and malt custard, pickled blackberries and Braeburn apples. The menu was deemed a worthy winner by the judges who included: Mark Sargeant, Alyn Williams, Christopher Basten, Sophie Mitchell, Julie Walsh, Ben Tish and Brad McDonald.

Danny Young from Northcote Manor in Langho came a close runner up with Ruth Hansom of The Ritz London in third place.

The winner and runners up will be taken to a food trends study trip to Scotland by headline sponsor, KNORR. KNORR has also invited all the finalists to Loch Goil – a stunning five star venue in Scotland for a culinary study tour and a range of outdoor activities.

As well as the industry recognition that the title provides, Danny Hoang also collects an exclusively designed winner’s plate from sponsors Churchill China and £500 worth of product, £1,250 voucher to spend within the Lockharts’ Product Range, a unique gastronomic trip to one of the world’s top restaurants courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment and £1,500 worth of activity voucher from KNORR.

The remaining finalists were:

Arthur Quinn, The Punchball Inn

Elly Wentworth, Manor House Hotel, Castle Combe,

Connor Godfrey, Wiltons Restaurant

Ray Steplin, House of Commons

Victoria Scupham, The Royal Household

David Mulcahy, Vice President of the Craft Guild of Chefs and organiser of the competition says, “Young National Chef of the Year is a fantastic platform for young chefs and the experience alone ensures that they begin their career on a high. The competition has once again highlighted the outstanding young talent that exists in our country at the moment.  Each of the finalists cooked tremendously well and has set the bar high for the next generation of chefs. Danny Hoang’s dishes were exceptionally well thought out and executed but all the finalists should be very proud of their performance.”

Mark Sargeant, Young National Chef of the Year Ambassador, adds: “It’s an honour to be an ambassador for Young National Chef of the Year. Having won a competition in a similar guise in 1996, I know what it means to have the accolade at such a young age.

Winning makes a huge difference to your learning and enables you to build your social skills and grow your confidence. It can even lead you to your next job. I’m a big fan of these young chefs who are so keen and hungry. The standard of the competition goes from strength to strength and I may say it every year but these young chefs aren’t far off giving the senior chefs a run for their money!”

For more information visit www.craftguildofchefs.org or follow @Craft_Guild #YNCOTY on Twitter.