Adelaide Oval apprentice chefs Abbey Wendland and Mahlet Girma have been crowned the national winners of the 2016 Nestl Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Wendland and Girma competed against the country’s 10 best junior chef teams and earned themselves silver medals for their entre, and main and a gold medal for their dessert course.

The team’s winning menu included an entre of cured ocean trout, textures of beetroot and pickled turnip; a main course of sous vide pork, pickled mushroom, roasted baby vegetables, pork wonton; and a trio of mousse, lemon curd and coconut almond soil for dessert.

Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, The Nestle Golden Chef’s Hat Award saw the national finalist teams compete live at Fine Food Australia tradeshow in Melbourne over two days, where they cooked-off in front of thousands of show attendees in purpose built commercial kitchens.

On making their mark as Adelaide’s first ever national winners in the history of the competition, Wendland and Girma said “We were just happy to get all our plates up and deliver under pressure and to have actually won, it’s just all so surreal right now. We worked very hard for this, we are blown away and can’t wait for what comes next.”

Australian Culinary Federation competition director, Deb Foreman said this year’s competition was a history-maker. “From record entries to the biggest female chef team representation ever, this year’s national final won’t be forgotten.”

As winners, Wendland and Girma have earned themselves a culinary trip to North America.


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