Applications for Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur awards are now open.

Founded in 2005 by Luke Mangan OAM and Lucy Allon, Appetite for Excellence is Australia’s only national awards program for aspiring young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs who want to take their careers to the next level.

Through a program of application and judging, educational workshops and leadership mentoring activities, Appetite for Excellence identifies Australia’s top young talent, puts them through their paces, challenges them to develop their skills and provides them with mentoring and education to nurture their success in becoming Australia’s next generation of inspiring hospitality industry leaders.

The prizes are designed to open up career-changing opportunities and experiences. The 2019 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur winners will enjoy return overseas flights courtesy of Virgin Australia; the opportunity to experience a stagiaire at a world renowned restaurant; $3000 to help with overseas travel and expenses; and PR and media recognition. The 2019 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur national finalists are also rewarded with an all-expenses-paid tour of one of Australia’s leading food and beverage regions to meet producers and learn about agricultural and viticultural practices.

The 2018 winners are preparing to embark on their prize trips in the next few months to stagiaire at Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe and the UK. The 2018 Young Chef winner, Max Sharrad is travelling to Copenhagen, Denmark to spend two-weeks at Amass before travelling through the Gorizia region of northern Italy, home to renowned wine makers including Radikon and Gravner; 2018 Young Waiter winner, Tyler Austin is also heading to Copenhagen, to Restaurant Kadeau where she will do a two-week front-of-house stage; and 2018 Young Restaurateur winner Cam O’Keefe is heading to the UK to spend time with Heston Blumenthal’s teams at The Hind’s Head Kitchen and The Crown Kitchen in Bray.

Appetite for Excellence is led by a community of Australia’s top industry talent who give their valuable time to mentor the finalists. Judges, present and past, include Peter Gilmore, Dan Hunter, Martin Benn, Dan Puskas, Mark Best, David Thompson, Christine Manfield, Ross Lusted, Peter Doyle, Lyndey Milan, Guy Grossi, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Lisa van Haandel, Nick Hildebrandt, Sam Christie, Marilyn Annechini, Dan Hong, Analiese Gregory, Kylie Javier Ashton and Duncan Welgemoed.

As a testament to the success of the program, past winners and finalists include James Viles (Biota; Barn by Biota), Josh Niland (Saint Peter; Fish Butchery) and Danielle Gjestland (Wasabi).

Career-focussed chefs and waiters aged over 18 and under 30 on Wednesday 7 August are eligible to enter the Young Chef and Young Waiter categories; restaurateurs who have owned their own licenced business for a minimum of two years and are under 35 years of age on Wednesday 7 August 2019 are eligible to enter the Young Restaurateur category.

For more details on this year’s award categories and to enter click here.

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