Thierry Marx Career Development Award winners announced

13 September, 2018 by
Madeline Woolway

The 2018 Shared Tables Thierry Marx Career Development Award winners have been announced. Sarah Cremona (The Vue Group) received the award for Apprentice Chef, with Ben Higgs (Higgs & Co) winning the newly established category of Qualified Chef.

The award provides the opportunity for one apprentice/cookery or patisserie student and one fully qualified chef to work in Paris. This year’s competition saw 17 finalists announced — 6 qualified chefs and 11 apprentices. Since starting the competition 22 apprentices have travelled to Paris.


Cremona was a runner up at last’s year competition and she was determined to come back in 2018 fully prepared and eager to win.

“I would love to have the opportunity to see the harmony, balance and fusion that Thierry Marx is able to execute between French Molecular Gastronomy and Japanese flavours,” she says.


Cremona’s winning dishes were pan seared aged duck breast with beetroot crumb, cured egg yolk, duck liver parfait and topped with a umboshi duck sauce (main), and a jerusalem artichoke filled with white chocolate miso cremeaux and chocolate soil (dessert).

“I wanted to make something offbeat and different,” says Cremona. “For me; food should not only taste great, but it should also be fun. My dessert is an experience; to get to white chocolate miso cremeaux the judges had to break open the artichoke. It’s all about those moments you create that make a dish memorable.”


The judges were impressed with Cremona & Higg’s cooking and technical abilities, as well as their knowledge of Thierry Marx, making them ideal ambassadors for the program.

“I would like to win this award to further solidify my skills as a chef and make me better equipped for modern cuisine and give me currency to put back into programs that help people throughout foodservice,” says Higgs. “I believe it’s not what you can achieve alone that makes you truly remarkable but how many people you can lift up with you.”

The prize includes airfares, accommodation and three weeks in Paris 14 days training under the guidance of Thierry Marx and his team at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Paris, as well as a three-day experience at the Le Cordon Bleu Paris Institute and a scholarship valued at AU$2,500 to study a Le Cordon Bleu program of the winners choice.

The other winners were:

Runner up: Winner Chef Category Alexander McIntosh (At the Heads) and Winner Student Category Abhishek Thorat (Le Cordon Bleu).

3rd Place: Winner Chef Category Remi Abry (Taxi Dining) and Winner Student Category Marco Wong (Le Cordon Bleu & Rachelle Van Diggele (Coonara Springs)