Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, the Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF’S HAT AWARD is well underway across the country.
To date, four two-chef teams have proved themselves to be rising stars of the cooking arena having had their cooking skills recognised in culinary institutions around Australia.
Out of the gates, three of the four teams have been awarded gold medals with the finalist chefs having secured themselves trips to Sydney this September where they will do kitchen battle against the country’s top talent in purpose built commercial kitchens at Fine Food Australia.
Just a few weeks ago, third-year apprentice chefs Sarah Jones, 19, from the National Wine Centre and Adrian Holds, 22, from the Adelaide Oval impressed judges with their menu to win gold.
Jones is already making her mark as a rising star to watch, having made it to the finals of the 2018 Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF’S HAT AWARD and on the back of that representing Australia in the Trophée Mille (Reims, France) where she achieved honours and won Best Savoury Dish.
“I think it definitely helped having competed before, it gave me more confidence to back myself for sure, but there were still a few nerves at the start,” Jones said.
“I think that Adrian and I really worked well as a team today, I’m really happy with what we put on the plate. I’m looking forward to the next challenge in Sydney.”
Jones and Holds created a two-course menu of pan roasted lamb rump with ginger sweet potato, braised lamb filled pasta, pickled kohlrabi, cavolo nero oil and pan jus for their main and a lemon and lime tart with coconut mousse, orange and ginger crumb for their dessert course.
This year’s heats have taken place in the following order with the national finalists as follows:
NT: Jarrod Everett, age 19 and Megan Bell, age 20, both from Snapper Rocks, awarded silver medals
QLD Metro: John Jamieson, age 24 and Ryan Woodward, age 22, both from OTTO Brisbane, awarded gold medals
NSW Regional: Siobhan McCowat, age 21 and Owen Cootes, age 21, both from Velvets Restaurant – Two Tails Winery, awarded gold medals
SA: Sarah Jones, age 19 from the National Wine Centre and Adrian Holds, age 22 from the Adelaide Oval, awarded gold medals