The 17th annual Proud to be a Chef event will see 34 aspiring chefs from around Australia take part in the all-expenses paid trip – a record for the industry competition.

Taking place in Melbourne in February next year, the competition is designed to foster, recognise and reward up-and-coming apprentice chefs throughout the four day program.

This year’s finalist group will be given the opportunity to be mentored by Australian culinary leaders Anna Polyviou, executive pastry chef at Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, Josh Pelham, head chef at ESP and Estelle in Melbourne, and Peter Wright, Foodservice Expert and Global Event specialist.

Finalists will also dine at award-winning restaurants across Melbourne, whilst culinary masterclasses will provide a platform for the apprentices to learn and develop new skills.

The up-and-coming chefs are competing for the chance to win $7,500 to spend on an international culinary paid placement, exclusively tailored to their aspirations as a professional chef. Finalists will showcase their creativity and technical talent when they present an original dish at the event.

Applicants were evaluated based on their demonstrated passion and commitment to foodservice, as well as their goals, aspirations and the quality of their original recipe.

Fonterra Proud to be a Chef coordinator, Carolyn Plummer, said that is was the outstanding calibre of submissions from this year’s crop of apprentice chefs that’s led to the increase in finalists.

“The high standard of entries this year is a true testament to the Australian foodservice industry and the next generation of culinary leaders,” she said.

The 2016 finalists are:

  1. Bridget Bottcher, Crown Melbourne, VIC
  2. Brooke Stewart, Dubbo RSL Memorial Club, Dubbo, NSW
  3. Christel Darion, Chisolm Tafe, VIC
  4. Eden Fuller, Halekulani Bowling Club, Budqewoi, NSW
  5. Ellyse Humphries, The Lido Larder, Portland, VIC
  6. Fanny Hoareau, Epicure-Brisbane City Hall, Brisbane, QLD
  7. Georgia Doherty, Summer Salt Restaurant, Cronulla, NSW
  8. Haley Moreland, Ballina RSL Club, Ballina, NSW
  9. Harry Gibbs, The Good Table, Castlemaine, VIC
  10. Jack Basoff, Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney, NSW
  11. Jacopo Marino, Via Italia, Mooloolaba, QLD
  12. Jake McKenzie, Tinamba Hotel, Tinamba, VIC
  13. Jasmine Sawa, National Press Club of Australia, Canberra, ACT
  14. Joshua Cowley, Kingscliff Surf Life Saving Club,Kingscliff, NSW
  15. Kayla Jenkin, The European, Melbourne, VIC
  16. Kyle Ferguson,Terrace Restaurant – All Saints Estate, Lavington, NSW
  17. Lachlan Howgego, Jupiters, Broadbeach, QLD
  18. Lachlan  Murray, The Salopian Inn, McLaren Vale, SA
  19. Linh Tran, West Coast Institute of Training, Wanneroo, WA
  20. Madeleine Lamont, Lamont’s Bishops House, Perth, WA
  21. Makaila Gatehouse, Spicers Tamarind Retreat, Maleny, QLD
  22. Margiory Guzman, Campbelltown Catholic Club, Campbelltown,  NSW
  23. Maria Hoad, Rydges Hotel, Palmerston, NT
  24. Mark Goode, Gilbert Street Hotel, Adelaide,  SA
  25. Mark Johnson, Co-op Dining, East Perth, WA
  26. Matthew Hibbs, Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, VIC
  27. Maverick Cuthbert, Grosvenor Hotel, Perth, WA
  28. Rebecca Merhi, The Star, Pyrmont, NSW
  29. Samantha Butler, Oakridge Winery, Coldstream, VIC
  30. Taylor Hanney, Woodland Kitchen & Bar, Neutral Bay, NSW
  31. Thomas Morgan, Coal River Farm, Cambridge, TAS
  32. Victoria Morton, Silo Restaurant and Lounge, Newcastle, NSW
  33. Viveik Vinoharan, Wolfe and Co, Dural, NSW
  34. Xavier McMutrie, Coopers Ale House, Adelaide, SA


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