The 22-year-old commercial cookery student at William Angliss Institute was revealed as the winner of the esteemed 2023 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award this week in Sydney.
For the first time in the culinary program’s 58-year history, Han also took out the Best Savoury Dish and Best Dessert Dish awards.
Han’s seasonal menu was also awarded triple gold medals across entrée, main, and dessert.
Han’s entrée was the ‘Green in Spring’ made up of torched corn salad with nashi pear, baby spinach, and Greek yoghurt.
Main was the ‘Orange in Autumn’ showcasing Murray Cod with chorizo, fennel wakame salad, sweet potato puree, and tom yum butter sauce.
Dessert was the ‘Winter in White’ consisting of vanilla black pepper bavarois, sable lemon gel, white chocolate soil, and shaved macadamia and raspberry jelly.
Judges praised Han’s menu for his showcase of sustainable cooking, balance of flavours, faultless technique, and dedication to his seasonal theme throughout.
“All the finalists this year have been truly impressive, but Jimmy’s dish execution went above and beyond,” says Head Judge and Nestlé Professional Commercial Development Chef Elke Travers.
“This win is definitely going to launch his career to new heights, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.”
Taiwan-born Han moved to Australia less than a year ago, after spending time as an apprentice at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
“Going into the grand finals of Golden Chefs I felt excited to take my cooking to the next level and I was confident in my approach,” says Han.
“I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me next in terms of my culinary career.”
As 2023 Nestlé Golden Chef of the Year, Han has been awarded a two-week European experience with the IKA Culinary Olympics, alongside a collection of KOI Knives.
For his Best Savoury Dish Award and Best Dessert Dish Award, Han has also received $2,500 in tuition packages.
Other awards on the night include the Most Sustainable Approach Award which was taken out by three-time competitor Sarah Jones, plus the Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Product Award which was won by Ashleigh Handsaker for her coffee bean broth.
The Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award is the country’s longest running culinary program. For more information visit goldenchefs.com.au