Kay-Lene Tan, head pastry chef at Tonka and Coda restaurants in Melbourne, has been named as the winner of the 2018 Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship.

After a four-month selection process, three finalists were named including Tan, Jenni Bryant from Market Lane Coffee and Shelly McElroy from Merivale.

Tan will soon travel and work across three countries and engage in a year-long mentorship with a local industry leader in Australia who is yet to be decided.

“Throughout the judging process, Kay-lene demonstrated a strong passion to drive and shape the future of the Australian hospitality industry,” says HostPlus’ Umberto Mecchi. “Her technical skills as a pastry chef combined with her desire to become one of the industry’s next leaders made her stand out to the panel.”

The judging panel consisted of:

  • Gail Donovan, restaurateur, Donovans, Melbourne
  • Umberto Mecchi, chief marketing officer at Hostplus
  • Jo-Ann Moody, gastronomy manager, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival
  • Rafael Rashid, founder and owner of Beat Box Kitchen, Taco Truck, and All Day
  • Matteo Pignatelli, owner and operator of Matteo’s restaurant in Melbourne
  • Fleur Studd, owner of Melbourne Coffee Merchants and co-founder of Market Lane

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