Two talented chefs are celebrating after winning prestigious national titles.

Larry Jayasekara, sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Holdings, has been named the Craft Guild of Chefs’ National Chef of the Year 2016, while Danny Hoang collected the Young National Chef of the Year prize.

The competition is the largest chef event in the UK and the final was watched by more than 100 hospitality professionals and students at The Restaurant Show in London’s Olympia.

Larry joins an esteemed club of winners, which includes Ramsay himself, David Everitt-Matthias, Alyn Williams, Mark Sargeant and many more who have gone on to gain industry-wide recognition and achieve ambitious career goals thanks to their success in the competition.

Second place in the competition went to Paul Foster from Mallory Court and in third place was Martin Carabott from The Royal Automobile Club.

Larry’s menu of Plancha native lobster, leek, red pepper, Roast loin of venison, cavelo nero, blackberries, Chocolate coffee cream, pan roasted pear greatly impressed the judging panel which once again comprised some of Britain’s most accomplished chefs. This year they were led by chair of judges Clare Smyth and included Alyn Williams, Ben Tish, Claude Bosi, Daniel Clifford, James ‘Jocky’ Petrie, Sat Bains and Stephen Terry.

As well as the career defining benefits associated with winning National Chef of the Year, Larry also collected the winner’s medal, £1,250 to spend within Lockhart’s product range, a unique gastronomic trip to one of the world’s top restaurants courtesy of Lockhart Catering Equipment, a £1,500 activity voucher courtesy of Knorr and an exclusively designed winner’s plate from Churchill.

Clare Smyth, chair of judges, commented: “We knew that standards would be high this year and we’ve had an amazing final. It’s great to have so many fantastic chefs entering and whilst we’ve had some fantastic finals I think this really was the best ever.

“The desserts particularly were the best desserts there have ever been in the competition. The top three were really close but thanks to having such incredible judges, each with a different opinion, the results balanced out and the best chef won.”

Danny Hoang from Colette’s at The Grove in Rickmansworth won his category after competing 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 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.

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, said: “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.”