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Regional Competitions

Last year, New Zealander Gabby Sanders beat the best young chef talent from across Australia and New Zealand to win the 2022 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award. Gabby says she was elated when she won the title and $10,000 cash prize and encourages others to give it go.
“It was solid recognition of all the hard work and effort I put into juggling work and study commitments, while also preparing for the competition.”

The Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award 2023:
We are looking for young New Zealand chefs to enter the North Island and South Island regional finals.
This is Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, and is now in its 58th year. This is a unique career making opportunity for participants to put their talent to the test and get industry recognition.

Entry is open to chefs in New Zealand and Australia aged 16-25 years. So long as they meet the eligibility criteria, they will be guaranteed a place to compete in the regional heats.
Entry is open online until Friday 5 May (11.59p.m. AEST) at and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
13-Mar Registrations open
5-May Entries close
13-May Regional Competitors confirmed

26 July: Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award North Island Regional Finals – Auckland, Ignite Colleges
28 July: Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award South Island Regional Finals – Christchurch, Ara Institute of Canterbury

11-12 Sept: Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Grand Final at Fine Food – Sydney
13 Sept: Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards Night – Sydney

Cooking off in a competitive environment and going up against other top culinary talent is a valuable learning experience. Participating chefs will also gain insights and feedback on their cooking skills from experienced judges who are accredited to global standards.

The experience and career advancing opportunities aside, this year has some amazing prizes to motivate at every stage.

After a three-year absence, we are excited to offer a two-week European culinary experience, valued at $10,000 (with $1,000 spending money) for the 2023 Golden Chef of the Year winner. The winner will join the Australian Culinary Olympics Junior Team at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany. The unique experience will also include an opportunity to gain a culinary work experience stage in Europe. Plus, to enhance their kitchen tool repertoire, the winner will also receive a bespoke set of beautifully crafted
KOI Knives.

In addition to the ultimate Golden Chef of the Year award, two $2,500 cash prizes for Best Savoury Dish and Best Dessert Dish are also on offer, as well as Most Creative and Most Sustainable award equipment packages to the value of $1,000 courtesy of SOLIDTEKNICS.

All up, Nestlé Golden Chef’s is a truly career enhancing opportunity to put yourself out there and see your culinary journey unfold.

Entry is open until Friday 5th May (11:59pm AEST).
Register online now at
Stay up to date on Facebook @goldenchefs and Instagram @golden_chefs
For more details, please contact:
Christine Meads M: 027 294 0823

*Important information: Entry open to individuals who are AU or NZ residents working (current or recent) in the culinary industry or are a current culinary student and aged between 16-25 on 31.12.23 (if <18 obtain parent/guardian permission). Registration opens 9am (AEDT) 13 March 2023 and closes 11.59pm (AEST) 5 May 2023. All eligible entrants will be invited to attend the Regional and Metro cook offs which will occur between May - July 2023. Twelve entrants (one per region) will be awarded with a Regional and Metro cook off Prize and invited to participate in the Grand Final cook-offs which will occur in Sydney between 9-14 September 2023 (date/location is subject to change). There are 4 prizes to be won during the Grand Final cook-offs. For full entry requirements, cook-off details, prize categories and inclusions see Promoter is Nestlé Australia Ltd.

Event Partners:
The Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award proudly partners with the Australian Culinary Federation and NZChefs who share our vision in being dedicated to the development of young chef talent. The Australian Culinary Federation and NZChefs are professional industry associations and the national representatives of Worldchefs in Australia & New Zealand.

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