RISING Tasmanian culinary stars Brigid Mallett, 21, and Luke Roe, 17, have been crowned two of Australia’s best young chefs after winning three silver medals in the national final of the 2015 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.
The longest-running culinary competition in Australia, the Golden Chef’s Hat Award offers young, aspiring chefs the chance to test their cooking skills by facing off against fellow peers from across the nation.
Ms Mallett, an apprentice chef at Smolt, and teammate Mr Roe, a year 12 student at Guilford Young College, ended the regional heats on a high, cementing their place in the final.
From 20-21 September, Team Tasmania battled it out in front of a live audience against the country’s eight best junior chef teams, achieving a silver medal haul for their entrée, main and dessert course dishes.
Ms Mallett said she went into the final hoping to finish within the top half of contestants, as well as be proud of the food she and Mr Roe presented to the judges.
“I was very nervous but felt confident that I knew exactly what I was doing,” she said.
“I was definitely content with my silver medal result and I was given a lot of constructive criticism that will hopefully help me win gold in the future.
“To cook live in front of an audience was a challenging, but amazing experience.”
Finalist chefs were each required to create a three-course meal in four hours, seeking to impress the panel of judges which included internationally recognised World Association of Chef’s Societies (WACS), Nestlé chefs and members of the Australian Culinary Federation.
Amanda Polsen, an apprentice chef at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, and Georgia Harrison, an apprentice chef at the National Press Club, were crowned the national winners, earning a once in a lifetime food safari experience in South Africa.
Australia Culinary Federation Competition director Deb Foreman said this year’s final was one of the best the competition had seen.
“From an unprecedented number of entrants to the highest awarded medal ever, this year’s competition has set a new benchmark,” she said.
With the final now over, Ms Mallett said she planned to keep improving her menu development.
“I also plan on expanding my skills and knowledge so that when I enter my next competition I can exceed my previous performances,” she said.
“Being a part of this competition has given me confidence in myself as a young and successful future female chef.”