The top 10 Grand Finalists of the inaugural virtual edition of culinary competition Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards have been revealed. 

Celebrating 55 years this year, the competition quickly pivoted in response to the hospitality industry shutdown. In the past, finalists were selected via regional cook-offs in commercial kitchens. This year, contestants were asked to submit video entries and the competition was expanded into New Zealand to support even more chefs.

The competition provides a platform for young chefs, accelerating their culinary careers and ensuring the next generation of culinary leaders. The 2020 Chef of the Year will be awarded an AUD$10,000 cash prize to further their culinary career.

Talent from across Australia and New Zealand put themselves to the test, showcasing themselves and their best dish.

“We’re really impressed by each and every chef for having the courage to give it a go with their video submissions, presenting themselves and their food to a high standard,” says Mark Clayton, executive chef and Nestlé Professional head judge. “We promised to standby our young chef community and our judges have been truly impressed by the level of creativity demonstrated and commitment from the chefs this year. It has been outstanding.”

The Top 10 Golden Chefs are: 

NSW Metro Grand Finalist – Jaadyn Byrne, 24

NSW Regional Grand Finalist – Josh Nickl, 22

Northern Territory Grand Finalist – Taylah King, 22

Queensland Metro Grand Finalist – Eve Sheraton, 21

South Australia Grand Finalist – Sarah Jones, 20

Tasmania Grand Finalist – Sadhvi Chawla, 24

Victoria Grand Finalist – Wei(Davy) Dai, 24

Western Australia Grand Finalist – Maverick Cuthbert, 23

New Zealand North Island Grand Finalist – Sam Heaven, 22

New Zealand South Island Grand Finalist – Jamie Jackson, 23

Here, NSW Metro Grand Finalist Jaadyn Byrne plates up his skin-charred blue mackerel with Jerusalem artichokes and beetroot pickled apples.

See more videos from the Top 10 about their dishes and the reason behind their passion.

The Nestlé Golden Chefs Hats Awards partners with the Australian Culinary Federation and NZChefs, who share in the collective vision of being dedicated to the development of young chefs and the future of the industry.

Each of the top ten finalists will compete in a commercial kitchen with two Australian Culinary Federation or NZChefs judges onsite to taste their food – and at the same time their dish creations will be livestreamed to a panel of remote judges to ensure that the same criteria is applied fairly to all competitors.

The grand finals will be held on the 10 November, with a virtual awards ceremony to follow on 17 November.

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