Celebrating its 50th year, Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, the Nestle Golden Chefs Hat competition has completed its second round of regional finals.

In the first round last week, Press Club Restaurant apprentice chefs Aimee Cahill (aged 20) and Emma Kaye (aged 21) took out the Victorian final with an entre of trout ballotine with cashew milk, trout tartare and egg white caviar; a main course of braised beef short rib and tortellini textures of pear, celeriac and carrot; and dessert of lemongrass and ginger semi-freddo with brulee disc and mandarin fudge.

From the ACT, Georgia Harrison and Amanda Polsen are headed to the national final for the second year running.

“Every free moment available to us both was spent practicing and preparing for the competition, and to be finalists this year again is completely unexpected,” said Harrison.

Representing Sydney, Adelene Stahnke and Mark Chew, sous chefs at Surry Hills’s Bang Street Food, out-cooked some of NSW’s best young chefs to win their heat.

This week, WA’s Brody Young-Steedman and Hayden Bilton, both aged 18 earned their place in the final; and Tasmania’s Luke Roe, aged 17, and second-year apprentice teammate Brigid Mallett ended the regional heats yesterday, winning over the judging panel with a menu of trout, lamb and poached pears.

Australian Culinary Federation Competition director, Deb Foreman said the Tasmanian final was one of the best the competition has seen this year.

“It’s the biggest Tasmanian final we’ve ever had and the overall quality of the dishes was outstanding. Luke and Brigid were up against some talented chefs but they kept their focus. The flavours in their dishes were spot on and their kitchen work was impressive.”

The QLD North, QLD South and NT regionals will take place in the coming weeks.

The national final will be held at the 2015 Fine Food Australia tradeshow in Sydney.

The Final will be held over two days (Sunday 20th and Monday 21st September) and will see the finalist teams compete live in front of Fine Food Australia attendees in purpose built kitchens.

Image Credit: Amanda Kelly Photography

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