Joseph Barker, aged 23, is the toast of the restaurant team at Rothay Manor in the heart of the Lakes, with the young man making through as a semi-finalist in the national Young Chef Young Waiter competition.
The annual competition now in its 40th year is designed to promote hospitality as a career of choice, a profession and a vocation. The competition endorsed by both UK Hospitality and The Restaurant Association is open to all young professional waiters and chefs from any background under the age of 26.
Joseph, one of the 40 finalists made up of 20 chefs and 20 waiters has made it through to the London finals and will now be put through their paces in an in-depth two-day judging process held in the capital later this month.
Over the two days the panel of industry judges made up of the likes of chefs such as Clare Smyth MBE, Tom Kerridge and Jason Atherton and front of house glitterati including Johanna Wimmer, Simon King, Anne Lomas and Beatrice Bessi, will be looking for originality, personality, passion and experience from each of the finalists.
Each finalist will be tested on their expertise, knowledge, creativity, problem solving and teamwork skills… During which the 20 chefs and 20 waiters will be whittled down by the end of day one to just ten in each category. Then on day two they will be further whittled down to just six chefs and six waiters from whom the first, second and third places winners will be declared at a spectacular celebration event at Quaglino’s on Tuesday 29th October.
Jamie Shail, hotelier and owner of Rothay Manor commented: ‘’This competition provides phenomenal opportunities for young professionals who want to develop their careers, acquire new skills, expand their network, learn from inspirational experts and meet incredible peers. It’s vital that we encourage our young people to get involved in the hospitality industry, to see it as a long-term career with opportunities to grow and develop. Competitions like this reaffirm this sentiment and firmly demonstrate that we are serious about what we do and encourage our young people to be the best they can possibly be and Joseph is to be congratulated in making to the semi-finals and no matter what happens the entire team is proud of him.’’