Welcome to the International Wine and Food Society Young Chef Competition 2024!

DIshes on table

Now in its third year, this year’s IWFS Young Chef Competition is the biggest and best to date!  Dozens of talented young students at catering colleges have been showing off their skills and competing for fabulous prizes and the title of IWFS Young Chef 2024.

Following the success of the first two competitions – Black Pudding in 2022 and Vegetarian Chef in 2023, the International Wine and Food Society (the world’s oldest and largest wine and food organisation) organised this year’s competition for the highly-talented young chefs now making their way through catering colleges.

Students from 8 colleges – Bolton, Craven College, Hugh Baird, Leeds, Scarborough, Trafford, Warrington & Vale and York – competed to create the best “Free From” dish incorporating a gluten free black pudding.

The competition was enabled by generous support from our sponsors Saga Cruises, The Bury Black Pudding Company, and The Savoy Educational Trust.


Next Stop – Unveiling the Winners!

February - March 2024

The Heats – 9 Colleges

The Heats: during February and March a team of IWFS members, college tutors and star chefs from our judging team will be tasting a record number of entries to select just 2 students from each college to progress to the Final.

February - March 2024

April 16th 2024

Warrington & Vale College

The Final: On Tuesday 16th April at Warrington College, a team of well-known chefs, led by Paul Heathcote MBE judged the finalists. 

April 16th 2024

May 21st 2024

Bolton College

The Awards Lunch: On Tuesday 21st May we held a fabulous lunch at Bolton College to present trophies and prizes to the winning students.  The lunch was hosted by award-winning professional chef and Great British Menu contestant Stephanie Moon, who works closely with many of the colleges being represented.

May 21st 2024

Unveiling the Winners

First Prize went to Tara Hunter from Leeds Catering College. Tara produced a stunning dish of pork and gluten-free black pudding wellington, served with creamy pomme puree, tenderstem broccoli with mustard dressing and a rich onion gravy, which the judges thought was an outstanding and delicious plate of food, executed with great skill.

Second prize went to Lucy Richmond from York College. Lucy’s dish of black pudding stuffed pork fillet, with shallot and wild garlic was praised by the judges for being perfectly cooked and immaculately presented, and tasted fabulous!

Third Prize went to James Segar from Hugh Baird College. James impressed the judges with a delicious dish of Black Pudding wellington, with pork fillet and black pudding encased in a mushroom duxelle, cabbage and puff pastry, and served with a maple syrup rosti, beer and shallot jus – a clever an outstandingly-executed plate of food.

A special Judges’ Commendation went to Adrian Cretu from Scarborough TEC. Adrian’s dish of pork loin fillet stuffed with prunes and gluten-free black pudding, celeriac puree on salsa verde was an excellent piece of cooking and showed great skill, and was highly praised by the judges.


Introducing our fabulous team of judges, who have very kindly donated their time to support the Competition:

Paul Heathcote MBE Michelin Star Chef gold

Head Judge - Award-winning Chef & Restaurateur

Paul Heathcote

John McCerery

Executive Chef, Saga Boutique Cruises

John McCerery

Stephanie Moon

Compere for the Awards Lunch - Chef Consultant

Stephanie Moon

Matthew Wilkinson

Head of Kitchens, Rudding Park

Matthew Wilkinson

Richard Morris

Production Director, Bury Black Pudding Company

Richard Morris

Matthew McDermid

Brand & Marketing Manager, Bury Black Pudding Company

Matthew McDermid


The Finalists

Scenes from the Final


“Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost; united and well matched they are as body and soul, living partners.”
Andre Simon (1877-1970)
IWFS Founder

The International Wine and Food Society Northern Branches are part of a friendly and inclusive Society that enables exciting, stimulating and special opportunities to learn more about and enjoy food and drink.  The IWFS is the world’s oldest and largest independent gastronomic organisation with over 6,000 members globally.

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We are hugely grateful for the generous support of our sponsors who have made this year’s competition possible: 


Saga Cruises

Offering exclusive, sophisticated cruises for over-50s since 2003, Saga Cruises has quickly risen to prominence as one of the world’s most recognisable cruise lines.  Saga offers boutique cruising to exciting destinations worldwide thanks to its two sister ships – Spirit of Discovery & Spirit of Adventure.  Winners of the British Travel Awards 2023 Best Cruise Line for Luxury Holidays, Saga are renowned for their commitment to colleague training and development and dedication to delivering outstanding hospitality.



The Bury Black Pudding Company

The Bury Black Pudding Company is widely recognised as the UK’s leading retail black pudding brand.  With over 50 years’ manufacturing experience, the company use a gold medal-winning recipe that dates back over a century alongside traditional production methods. Their delicious and low-fat “superfood” products are not only enjoyed in this country, but exported around the globe where they are considered one of the truly great British food brands. 



Savoy Educational Trust

The Savoy Educational Trust is an independent grant giving charitable trust whose main aim is the advancement and development of education, training and qualifications for the benefit the UK hospitality industry. The Trust is passionate about fostering the growth and excellence of individuals working in (or aspiring to work in) hospitality, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in this dynamic sector.


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