Check out the 2018 winners

The YBFs shines a spotlight on the future stars of the British food & drink industry

Now in our seventh year, the YBF judges are on the hunt for the next generation of talent. Chefs, producers, farmers, mixologists, waiters, front-of-house superstars – whatever the trade, we want to find the next master of it. If you know someone (or are someone) with a culinary skill that needs to be recognised, we want to hear about it.

Categories & Judges

Giving Back

An entirely new category for 2018, the Giving Back Award - led by the brilliant Danny McCubbin Founder of San Patrignano UK and Culture Manager for Jamie Oliver Ltd and the inspirational Thomasina Miers, who won the first ever Masterchef in 2005, co-founded restaurant group Wahaca and is a trustee of Chefs in Schools. This award has been set up to shine a spotlight on the people who are enriching the community through food and drink. Thomasina and Danny are looking for large and small scale social enterprise initiatives and individuals as well.

Food Sharing

Celebrating British food and drink through social media, our acclaimed judges includes Melissa Hemsley of Hemsley + Hemsley, notorious for sharing beautiful recipes and inspiring content, Clerkenwell Boy who gives unerring support to the country's best food and drink businesses and Phoebe Hurst, UK Editor of MUNCHIES - VICE, renowned for inspiring culinary coverage.

Front of House

Sommeliers, managers, waiters, maitre d’s and everything in between, get entering! Inspired by our top judges, Natalia Ribbe of Eighty Six List, Sandia Chang of Bubbledogs, Daniel Willis of the acclaimed Clove Club and Joanne Searley of JKS restaurants, we want to give the restaurant frontline recognition for the great work they do.


Previous finalists to cook before our remarkable panel include the legendary Tom Sellers, John Chantarasak, Tomos Parry and Elizabeth Allen. Brilliant chefs, you might be stuck in the kitchen 24/7, but take 5 minutes to enter and you could get a chance to seriously raise your culinary profile. Judging takes place at the iconic Leiths Cookery School.


Calling all real bread bakers and pioneering cake-makers, this is your chance to shout about what you’re doing! This year we are very excited to have author & baking teacher, Louise Gellatly (aka Mrs G) and the wonderful April Preston, Executive Head of Food Innovation for Harrods join YBF founder, Lily Jones (AKA Lily Vanilli) and doughnut extraordinaire Justin Gellatly. They are all waiting to hear from you


From innovative cocktail-shakers to DIY spirit-creators, our esteemed judges, Alice Lascelles, Financial Times drinks columnist and new judges for 2018, King of Cocktails, Ryan Chetiyawardana (AKA Mr Lyan) and The Clove Club's Bar Manager, occasional brewer and booze tinkerer, Rob Simpson - are waiting to be wowed. Mixologists, producers, curators and drinks buffs get entering now.


Charcutiers and butchers, smokers and barbecuers, farmers and smallholders - the meat category is a chance for you to show off your produce and skills, whether it’s rarebreed lamb you’re farming or a ham you’re making more skillfully than the Spanish, French or Italians put together.


The Modern Salad Grower wowed judges in its debut year and last year the wonderful Padstow Kitchen Gardens came first place. 2018 welcomes with open arms chef and restauranteur Jackson Boxer to the panel alongside chef, writer and author Anna Jones and pickle and preserve phenomenon Kylee Newton of Newton + Pott. They are all looking for something extraordinary to catch their eye.


After high demand and an onslaught of email requests, we rustled this up for those of you that don’t fit into the other sections. So far we’ve had cheese-makers, smoked salmon producers, ice-cream connoisseurs and whole kaleidoscope of food and drink craftsmen and women enter.

Fresh Voices in Food Writing

Launched by the lauded Sunday Times restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin, who is joined by leading journalists Yotam Ottolenghi and Fay Maschler, the Fresh Voices category is a chance for bloggers and journalists to get their words heard. This year we are honoured to welcome BBC Good Food’s Editor-In-Chief Christine Hayes to the panel.

What it means to win a YBF

Tomos Parry
Winner, Chef of the Year

"The YBFs really does celebrate new and visionary talent from the food and drink world. Winning has given me some great opportunities and undoubtedly helped my career. It’s been a pleasure working alongside the other YBFs winners"

  • Access to ongoing support and mentorship from the YBF founders
  • A chance to pitch your produce/work to the Harrods food team
  • Being a part of the ever-growing YBF community
  • Career avenues with Soho House Group
  • Quarterly YBFxTanqueray mixer events (always full of good grub & cocktails), connecting you to other YBFs and the food industry
  • It’s a platform that attracts interest from media and industry

About Us

Founded by Amy Thorne (founder of TASTE PR),  journalist Chloe Scott-Moncrieff and Lily Jones (AKA Lily Vanilli), the YBFs was set up to fill a gap in the food and drink awards arena. Seeking out and celebrating the grassroots talent of the industry – the unsung heroes who deserve to be championed.

If you'd like to talk about anything to do with the YBFs, just get in touch