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Culinary stars move up the ranks at national final

RISING stars of the Tasmanian culinary scene, apprentice chef Hugh Walters, 20, and pastry cook Emily Hanson, 20, have been named among Australia’s best young chefs at the 2016 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards.

Mr Walters and Ms Hanson, both from Wrest Point Casino, battled it out in the kitchen against the country’s 10 best junior chef teams to claim bronze for their entrée and two silver medals for main and dessert course dishes.

The pair’s national menu included an entrée of spiced cured ocean trout, a main course of seared beef tender and dessert course of peanut butter and lemon cheesecake.

Australia’s longest-running culinary competition for young chefs saw the national finalist teams compete at Fine Food Australia Melbourne over two days (12 and 13 September), where they cooked-off live in front of thousands of show attendees in purpose-built commercial kitchens.

As a first-time finalist, Mr Walters said the experience was “definitely nerve wracking.”

“However, I think we worked really well as a team and we were really happy with what we plated up for the judges and how our dishes tasted,” he said,

“We received some great feedback and walked away with a lot new friendships and contacts.”

Australian Culinary Federation competition director Deb Foreman said this year’s competition was “truly memorable.”

“From record entries to the biggest female chef team representation in the entire history of the competition, this year’s national final will not be forgotten.”

Since its inception more than 50-years ago, the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award has offered Australia’s most talented chefs a platform to broaden their culinary horizons.

Caption: Cream of the crop: Apprentice chef Hugh Walters, 20, of Rosetta, and above, his silver-medal winning dessert, a peanut butter and lemon cheesecake.

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