Young Chef of the Year Awards


The hospitality industry has never faced a worse staff shortage with warnings of a 60,000 shortfall of workers a year. To encourage young talent working in the UK restaurant industry, Bookatable by Michelin and Michael Reid, Executive Chef of M Restaurants, have joined forces to create an annual competition that aims to nurture tomorrow’s chef stars, giving them the opportunity to host a pop-up restaurant at the Bookatable Young Chef Takeover at M Victoria St in July.


Young, up-and-coming chefs will be asked to create menus that represent their own personality and style. The top 50 entrants will be invited to M Victoria to cook their signature dish and present their menu in June to the panel of judges.

A member of the judging panel and Michael will be present every night to score the young chef on the same criteria to form 50% of each finalist’s score. The remaining 50% will be awarded by the paying diners each evening.

The judging panel includes Phil Howard; Richard Bainbridge; Sarah Durdin Robertson (Series Food Producer, Optomen); M Executive Chef, Michael Reid (starring this week on BBC Two’s Great British Menu and last weekend’s C4 Sunday Brunch) and M Restaurant founder Martin Williams (recently voted 17th most influential person in the UK hospitality industry). One final further judge will be announced shortly.

The panel: Martin Williams, Michael Reid & Richard Bainbridge

The panel: Martin Williams, Michael Reid & Richard Bainbridge

10 finalists will be chosen and will be mentored by both Michael Reid and Martin Williams to tweak their menu design ready for the Bookatable M Takeover which will take place at M Victoria St for 10 nights from 25th July – 5th August 2017.

The chosen young chef will win a 10-night pop-up serving their winning menu at M Victoria St from 16th – 30th August, a trip to Reims, France and the title Bookatable Young Chef of the Year 2017.

Entry criteria:

  • 29 years old or under
  • Working in a professional kitchen in the UK

To enter the competition:

  • Chefs are to create a 4-course menu which expresses their skill and personality
  • The 4-course menu is to be sold at £40 (with a maximum COS of 35%)
  • The menu must be a set menu for 40-50 people in one evening
  • Entrants are accepted until 10th June

Chefs must send the following to

  • Their 4-course menu
  • A cover letter explaining their background and ambition, their personal style of cooking and why they feel the menu will attract diners.
  • Menu costings
  • A picture of their favourite course

The young chefs will be marked on the following criteria:

  • Why the menu reflects the personality and style of the chef
  • Ability to execute to 40-50 diners in one evening
  • Quality of ingredients, menu design and ultimately taste!
  • Commercial acumen – must be a max COS of 35%
  • Marketability – a menu which is likely to attract diners
  • The young chef’s future potential within the industry

Media Contacts

Josephine Ellis, Head of Communications, Bookatable by Michelin  / +44 (0)207 199 4344

Leah Butson, M Restaurants / +44 (0)207 734 7001