Hobart chef wins coveted scholarship

YOUNG Hobart chef Will Roberts is on the path to becoming a leader in the “slow food” movement in Tasmania after winning a life-changing scholarship to Italy.

A chef at North Hobart’s Capital restaurant, Mr Roberts was announced the winner of the 2016 Slow Food Hobart TasTAFE/Tasmanian Hospitality Association Terra Madre Scholarship.

Mr Roberts, 26, won the biennial scholarship after impressing the judges at a cook-off in late May.

His winning dish incorporated an autumnal salad featuring chargrilled pear, Tasmanian candied walnuts, pickled grapes, Grandvewe blue cheese and bletted medlars.

Winter Feast food curator and Slow Food scholarship judge Jo Cook said the competition to determine the winner was very close.

Ms Cook said the judges were impressed not only by Mr Roberts’ cooking ability and presentation, but also his confidence and maturity.

“Will applied for the scholarship two-years-ago and since then he has really developed,” she said.

“He’s more confident and I know that he will really benefit from the opportunities this scholarship will provide.”

Mr Roberts said he was excited to win the scholarship and the opportunities it presented.

“I was really excited to win it and quite shocked because the other contestants put up some really good dishes,” he said.

“I’ve really grateful for the opportunities this scholarship will provide.”

Mr Roberts will now have the opportunity to attend Slow Food’s five-day Terra Madre/Salone Del Gusto, which is an international event dedicated to food and gastronomy.

Held from 22-26 September in Turin, Italy, he will learn from Italian artisan producers and establish mentoring partnerships with Slow Food International’s chef network and SF Youth Movement, as well as visit Slow Food International’s University of Gastronomy.

Caption: Hobart chef Will Roberts, 26, adding the finishing touches to his culinary creations.

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