Ryebeck Chef through to the finals of Young Chef of the Year competition…

Ollie Fitton, Ryebeck’s Junior Sous Chef, has made it through to the final 12 of the Young Chef of the Year competition.

The competition now in its second year is hosted by M Restaurant and Bookatable by Michelin in association with Champagne Pommery.

The finalists, all young chefs under the age of 29, hail from some of the best restaurants across the UK. They were selected after submitting an original four-course menu at £45 per head together with costings for 50 covers.

All the 12 finalists have all suitably impressed M Group Executive Chef Michael Reid and the other guest judges in the two competition rounds and have now been invited to M in Victoria Street’s RAW Restaurant to cook in a series of pop up takeover nights from 3 -28 July, with diners and judges voting for their favourite young chef each evening.

Ollie’s pop-up at M in Victoria Street’s RAW Restaurant, is on Thursday 12th July, between 6pm and 9pm, tickets are priced at £45 for four courses and includes a complimentary glass of Champagne Pommery.

Tickets for Ollie’s pop-up available via Bookatable here.

During the July pop-ups, entrants’ menus will be judged by M Restaurant founder, Martin Williams; M Group Executive Chef, Michael Reid; as well as leading chefs and personalities who are backing the M campaign; including Adam Handling, Andy Lynes, Claudio Cardoso, Sophie Michell, Daniel Watkins, Jose Pizarro, Michael Wignall, Steve Dinneen, Sudi Pigott and Tom Kemble.

Aside from taking on the tough job of judging the dishes, M founder Martin Williams is hoping that Young Chef of the Year will inspire the next generation of young chefs. “There are two purposes of the competition – To nurture the best young talent already in our kitchens and secondly I hope that by seeing what other young people are doing with food, it will inspire others to get into the professional kitchen and try it out for themselves! Thanks to Brexit the hospitality industry is suffering from worrying staff shortages and we want to make becoming a chef an aspirational career to students coming out of schools and colleges.”

Ollie Fitton, Junior Sous at The Ryebeck added: ‘’I’m looking forward to the pop-up in London, having this opportunity to create menus that reflect my personality and my food ethos is immense. Once you get over the slightly daunting fact that you are being judged by some of the UK’s top chefs, as well as the paying public, you can really focus on showcasing your food.’’

Ollie added: ‘’When I was at college I was inspired by some of the chefs who are judging me, I just hope that I’m lucky enough in the future to be able to inspire kids coming through schools and colleges to get involved in cooking in professional kitchens…so let’s see what happens…’’

Prize categories include the Young Chef of the Year Winner, Young Chef of the Year Runner Up, Best Dish as voted by the judges and Best Social Campaign as voted by Bookatable.

The winner and runner up will receive a five-day ‘pop up residency’ each in the 50 cover RAW restaurant at M Victoria St. The winner will also receive a trip to Champagne Pommery in Reims and a set of Blenheim Forge Knives. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 31st July.