Apprentices cook off for Brett Graham scholarship

11 October, 2017 by
Annabelle Cloros

The Hunter’s best apprentice chefs will once again battle it out in the kitchen for the chance to win the prestigious $10,000 Brett Graham Scholarship.

Apprentices will cook a three-course meal for 60 industry members.

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The Brett Graham Scholarship was established in 2003 as a partnership between Hunter Culinary Association and TAFE NSW and is named after Brett Graham of The Ledbury in London, who is one of TAFE NSW’s most successful alumni.

Designed as a way of fostering the talent of local up‐and‐coming chefs, the $10,000 scholarship winner will fly to London and work alongside Brett Graham at The Ledbury, which is currently ranked number 27 on the World’s Best Restaurants list.

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The recipient can then use the rest of their winnings to enjoy the best dining experiences Europe has to offer before returning home to commence a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery at TAFE NSW.

Ben Neil, Hunter Culinary Association chairman, is thrilled the Brett Graham Scholarship, in partnership with TAFE NSW, has continued to go from strength to strength.

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“Originally, the scholarship funds would cover the cost of the winner’s flights,” he says. “Now, thanks to events such as the annual Food Fight, we have been able to provide the winner with a life-changing experience.

“Each year, the scholarship attracts the region’s best apprentices and young chefs and sees them gain international experience with most returning home to our region. A core focus of the association and its scholarship charter is to foster talent in the industry for years to come.”

According to Mark McManus, TAFE NSW head teacher of Commercial Cookery, the scholarship provides the lucky recipient with the opportunity to continue their studies with TAFE NSW.

“We value our ongoing partnership with Hunter Culinary Association and we are committed to developing the skills and experience of local apprentices by giving them the chance to further their studies at TAFE NSW with a Certificate IV in Commercial cookery,” he says.

The group of young chefs will flex their culinary muscles in a preliminary cook-off on Tuesday 17 October, where entrants will be narrowed down to three finalists.

Each of the finalists will then design, prepare and cook a three-course menu based on two cuts of pork selected by Brett Graham while also managing a kitchen ‘support team’ of apprentices at the final competition to be held at TAFE NSW Hamilton on Tuesday 24 October 2017.

This year’s panel of judges includes former Brett Graham Scholarship recipient Garreth Robbs of Bistro Molines, Stephanie Airlie-Noé from House of Airlie Public Relations and Tracey Amos from TAFE NSW.