On 31st January 2017, 30 years after it was first established, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts launched the eighth Master of Culinary Arts (MCA), at Searcys Knightsbridge, 30 Pavilion Road.  Based on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), the MCA is the UK hospitality industry’s most prestigious award for head chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers.

“The MCA is the highest honour in the catering industry; it examines the very finest details in service, pastry and kitchen and is the pinnacle of each discipline.  For me, a Master of Culinary Arts is a person who strives for perfection in their profession and has the grace and elegance to promote our craft to the next generation.”  John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London/Chairman, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

The award of Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) is conferred on those who have displayed mastery of the complex and specialised knowledge and skills in culinary arts which are required to be a first class chef, pastry chef, or for restaurant management and service.  The holder of the MCA is able to prove advanced technical skill and professional ability; accept accountability for their decision-making; contribute to supervision and management; demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the principles of sustainability and the viability of our food sources throughout the scope of the food chain; demonstrate leadership and support the development of others; and act in the best interests of the culinary arts profession.

To enter the MCA candidates must be currently employed full-time within the United Kingdom as a chef, pastry chef or in restaurant management and service.  Applicants must also have:

· At least 10 years full-time experience in their specific trade (not necessarily consecutively).

· A range of industrial experience at various levels including at least three years at a senior level.

· A broad knowledge of traditional and modern gastronomy and service.

· The ability to demonstrate a range of their specific trade skills at an advanced level under pressure.

· Undertaken a range of activities as part of their own continuing professional development.

· Contributed to the training and development of others.

· A working knowledge of written and spoken English.


Tuesday 31st January

Launch of the MCA

Friday 31st March

Closing date for entries

Saturday 29th April

Restaurant Management & Service Quarter-Final, Grosvenor House

Monday 5th June

Restaurant Management & Service Semi-Final, The Langham London

June (Date TBC)

Pastry Chefs Semi-Final

Wednesday 28th June

Chefs Semi-Final, University College Birmingham

Saturday 16th September

Pastry Chefs Final, The Taste Lab, Classic Fine Foods

Saturday 23rd September

Chefs Final, University College Birmingham

Saturday 30th September

Restaurant Management & Service Final, Le Gavroche

Thursday 5th October

Gala Presentation Dinner, Claridge’s

For further information or to enter the MCA 2017 please e-mail your contact details to:

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is immensely grateful to the sponsors of the MCA 2017:
Ritter CourivaudACT Clean; Aubrey AllenBerkmann Wine Cellars;  Champagne Laurent-Perrier;  L’Unico Caffe Musetti; Speyside Glenlivet ; Wedgwood;  WinterhalterThe Caterer (Media Partner). 


Committees and Judges

Chairman of the MCA: David Pitchford, Proprietor, Reads Restaurant with Rooms


Chairman: Idris Caldora MCA, Executive Chef, Adopt a School

Committee: André Garrett MCA, Executive Head Chef, Cliveden House

Martin Green MCA, Head Chef, Whites Club

John Williams MBE, Executive Chef, The Ritz London

Pastry Chefs

Chairmen: Michael Nadell

Michel Roux OBE MOF

Committee: Benoit Blin MCA, Head Pastry Chef, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Claire Clark MBE MCA, Partner, Pretty Sweet

William Curley MCA, Patissier-Chocolatier, William Curley

Denis Drame MCA, Executive Chef, The Taste Lab, Classic Fine Foods

Yolande Stanley MCA, Consultant Pastry Chef Lecturer, The Pastry Training Company

Paul Williams MCA, Pastry Senior Sous Chef, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

Restaurant Management & Service

Chairmen: Silvano Giraldin, Director, Le Gavroche

Sergio Rebecchi, Director, Serenata Hospitality

Vice Chairmen: John Cousins, Director, The Food and Beverage Training Company

Didier Garnier, Proprietor, Le Colombier

Committee: Mourad Ben Tekfa MCA, Restaurant Director, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

François Bertrand, Group Head Sommelier, MARC Limited

Joël Claustre MCA, Retail Operations Director, Searcys

Stephane Davaíne, Director, Front of House Operations, Property and Corporate Services, Coutts

Jean-Luc Giquel, Group General Manager, The Cinnamon Group

Simon Girling, Executive Food & Beverage Operations Manager, The Ritz London

Rémy Lysé, Chief Operating Officer, The Arts Club

Michael Newton-Young MCA, Managing Director, JMK Classic Catering Ltd

Robert Rose MCA, Operations Manager Restaurants, Selfridges

Thierry Tomasin MCA, Proprietor/Restaurant Manager, Angelus Restaurant

Elaine Watson MCA, Food and Beverage Support Services Manager, The Gleneagles Hotel

Inaugurated in 1987, The Master of Culinary Arts (MCA) is held every four years and is seen to be the ultimate accolade, awarded in recognition of outstanding craftsmanship, for Chefs, Pastry Chefs and Restaurant Managers in the UK.  Inspired by Michel Bourdin, then Chef de Cuisine at The Connaught and supported by Albert and Michel Roux OBEs the MCA was based on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) and was originally known as the Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne.

The MCA represents the very best in craftsmanship in cooking, pastry and service.  It is a priority in the Royal Academy’s continuing efforts to improve the standards of food, cooking and service while, at the same time, raising the professional status of chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers.  Winners of the MCA carry the title for life and become role models for future generations.  Through the MCA, we can encourage young people to aspire to be the best thus securing a better future for the hospitality industry.

Leading the hospitality profession by example – shaping the future through education.

Founded in 1980, the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s leading professional association of Head Chefs, Pastry Chefs, Restaurant Managers and suppliers.  Its objectives are primarily focused on the education and training of young people in the hospitality industry through the provision of career opportunities; recognising and rewarding talent and skill; and raising standards and awareness of food, food provenance, cooking and service.  Members are united in the common purpose of supporting the future of the industry through thorough and extensive education and training.  The Academy fulfils this aim through a number of education initiatives such as its charity Chefs Adopt a School; its Chefs Apprenticeship Programmes; the Annual Awards of Excellence and the Master of Culinary Arts.

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
President: Brian Turner CBE
Chairman: John Williams MBE
Chief Executive: Sara Jayne Stanes OBE