Young Chef Young Waiter competition comes to Scotland for the first time

Adam Handling and YCYW England chef judges, Mario Perera and Michael Kwan of The Dorchester, with 2022’s YCYW England chef finalists

Global hospitality competition Young Chef Young Waiter (YCYW) is coming to Scotland in October this year.

Designed to encourage young talent into the hospitality industry, YCYW champions both front and back of house roles and the talent and passion that goes into them. It also offers young chefs and waiters access and learning opportunities with some of the industry’s most respected figures.

The inaugural YCYW Scotland, sponsored by Champagne PIAFF, part of the Loch Lomond Group, and Compass Scotland, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, will take place at Gleneagles in Perthshire on Thursday, 12 October 2023.

A panel of expert judges, including Michelin-starred chef-owner Adam Handling, Gleneagles executive chef Simon Attridge, Gleneagles general manager Daniel Baernreuther, Compass Scotland’s regional executive chef David Bell, and Igniting Hospitality’s Simon King, will coach the young chefs and waiters through the process, providing insights and guidance based on their own hospitality careers.

The Scottish chef and waiter winners will then join YCYW finalists from England, Ireland, Wales, Cayman Islands, USA, Monaco, Singapore, and Macao, teaming up for their final competition in Monaco on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 November.

At that final, the eight chefs and eight waiters will each design a menu and serve their national dishes to an array of guests from all corners of the hospitality world and an internationally acclaimed judging panel. The winning chef and waiter duo will be awarded $10,000.

Mr Handling said: “This is Scotland’s first time in YCYW as a stand-alone nation and I couldn’t think of anywhere better to launch YCYW Scotland than the legendary Gleneagles. It’s an incredibly personal place for me as it’s where I first started my career, 20 years ago.

“Scotland always has fantastic chefs in any of the British culinary competitions I’ve seen or been a part of and, now we’ve given each of the nations in the UK their own stage at YCYW, it’s a great opportunity for more British people to showcase their cooking skills and really demonstrate to the world what’s so great about the food that’s coming out of this little island.”


Laura Head of Champagne PIAFF said the brand was delighted to be on board as the Scottish Licence holder for Young Chef Young Waiter.

“Champagne PIAFF is a forward-thinking brand that understands the need to keep venues and events exciting and appealing to the next generation of consumers,” she said. “The business is passionate about supporting the young talent who will be the faces of hospitality in years to come and really look forward to being part of their journey.”

World Young Chef Young Waiter Chairman, Robert Walton MBE, said: “I am thrilled to bring Young Chef Young Waiter to Scotland this year and delighted to collaborate with our esteemed colleagues at Champagne PIAFF once again, with whom Young Chef Young Waiter shares a passion for excellence in hospitality.

“Scotland is responsible for some of the most talented chefs and waiters I know – like the incredible Adam Handling who will be our Head chef judge in Scotland in October. It is a pleasure to see the passion and creativity our young chefs and waiters bring to each and every competition, and I look forward to seeing what the Scottish YCYW contingent put forward later this year.”

Gleneagles executive chef Attridge commented: “We’re delighted to be the Host Venue partner for the first standalone Young Chef Young Waiter in Scotland. Scotland has a proud tradition of developing great chefs and waiters and we’re proud to see Young Chef Young Waiter Scotland at Gleneagles.

“Our people have always been critical to making sure that we create exceptional experiences at Gleneagles, and we have always worked hard to help them grow and find fulfilling careers across hospitality. As an industry we need to continue to invest in young people, encouraging them into hospitality and providing them with the coaching, support and training they need to thrive. I can’t wait to welcome everyone to the hotel, to meet the emerging young talent and to share industry opportunities with them all.”

Managing director at Compass Scotland, David Hay, said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this year’s Young Chef Young Waiter competition, especially as it comes to Scotland for the first time. Championing local, Scottish produce is one of our top priorities at Compass Scotland, and we know that this competition will shine a light on that.

“Another focus for us is supporting and growing young talent; Compass offers a wide range of learning and development opportunities for all employees, in all roles and ages across our business sectors, and so it’s brilliant to be able to support the next generation of talent in the hospitality industry. We can’t wait to hear how everyone gets on in October.”

Last year’s World Young Chef Young Waiter finalists with competition judge Adam Handling, at the Monaco World Final, which was held at The Maybourne Riviera in November 2022

Entries are now open for YCYW Scotland – with the closing moment for final entries set at midnight on Monday, 4 September 2023.

To enter the competition, visit