Young Chef Young Waiter announces 2020 winners

22 July 2021 by
Young Chef Young Waiter announces 2020 winners

The winners of the Young Chef Young Waiter (YCYW) of the Year 2020 competition have been announced for the UK and China and south-east Asia.

The winners of the delayed competition were announced at the Dorchester in London last night, and saw Peter Meechan of Gleneagles win UK YCYW Young Chef of the Year, while the UK YCYW Young Waiter of the Year award went to Florian David of the Waterside Inn.

Marie Bouquet of Tíng restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard in London picked up the accolade for China & South East Asia Young Waiter of the Year, while the China & South East Asia Young Chef of the Year 2020 went to Tibor Palasti from the Sushi Bar at Harrods.

The two overall winners of the competition were Peter Meechan of Gleneagles and Marie Bouquet of Tíng, who will both win a Mercedes-Benz A Class, including insurance for a year.

The 25 finalists of the two competitions were chosen by UK head chef judge Theo Randall, UK head waiter judge Simon King and chairwoman of China and South East Asia judges Ching He Huang. This followed a live final in May where the chefs cooked a three-course menu and the waiters performed several tasks, including an interview and wine tasting.

Randall said: "It was a pleasure to judge YCYW again and made me proud of how much young talent is bursting through at such a difficult time. Peter Meechan is a natural cook with outstanding ability, the dishes he created were not just perfectly cooked, but the skill he showed in preparation was a joy to watch. He is currently working at the legendary Gleneagles hotel, which has helped develop another star of the future. I wish Peter all the success he deserves and look forward to seeing this talented young man reach the pinnacle of our beloved industry."

King added: "I was once again delighted with the standard of the finalists, all of which did brilliantly. What made Florian stand out was his attention to detail, consistency and composure throughout. He was never knocked off his stride, which allowed his passion and personality shine through. Undoubtedly a star in the making!"

He Huang said: "Young chef Tibor Pilasti demonstrated a great attitude and passion, exhibiting incredible skill for his craft. It was an absolute pleasure for all the judges to watch him cook and taste his delicious dishes, which were almost faultless."

Fellow judge Andy Downton added: "I was very impressed by the quality of the this year's finalists. It certainly wasn't an easy task to choose a winner, however Marie is a very deserved winner. Her consistency, passion, calmness and professionalism throughout all of the tasks, especially during the interviews and scenarios, was second to none and was a delight to see. Marie is certainly one to watch and will be a great ambassador to our industry."

Young Chef Young Waiter UK winners

Best Young Chef of the Year

  • Winner – Peter Meechan, Gleneagles
  • Second place – Alexandra Henderson, the Lansdowne Club
  • Third place – Valère Ruiz, 14 Hills

Best Young Waiter of the Year

  • Winner – Florian David, the Waterside Inn
  • Second place – Hellie Honney, Gleneagles
  • Third place – Declan Wilkins, the Hand & Flowers

Young Chef Young Waiter China & South East Asia winners

Best Young Chef of the Year

  • Winner – Tibor Palasti, the Sushi Bar, Harrods
  • Second place – Lee Qing Chen, Imperial Treasure
  • Third place – Kevin Hoang, Lu Ban

Best Young Waiter of the Year

  • Winner – Marie Bouquet, Tíng, Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
  • Second place – Simone Rizzo, Tíng, Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
  • Third place – Sabrina Aquilina, Tíng, Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
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