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2023 Competition winners

Congratulations Chef Ken O'Connell, NZ Culinarian of the year, 2023

Ken crop-635-859-566

NZ Competitors Win Medals at Culinary Competition

Lily and Joosje-737-150
Two young New Zealand chefs - Joosje Bouman (L) and Lilly Boles (R) – were each awarded triple bronze medals at the prestigious Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award competition held in Sydney at Fine Food Australia.
Lilly and Joosje aged 19 and 22 years respectively, impressed the judges with the execution and delivery of their three course menus to earn the haul of bronze medals.
This was the first time that both of them have competed at the Grand Finals. Lilly won the North Island regional heat of the competition earlier this year. A student chef at AUT, she entered the Trans-Tasman event because she likes to challenge herself and pick up every opportunity she can while training to become a chef.
Representing the South Island at the event, Joosje is no stranger to culinary competitions, having competed in the Golden Chefs regional finals last year. Joosje says she decided to enter the competition again because she had learnt a lot from the judges and really enjoyed the whole experience.
Both competitors were up against 10 other young top chefs from across Australia who were all vying to be crowned Golden Chef of the Year. They developed and perfected their three course menus in the lead up to the live cook off.
Lilly’s menu comprised a warm vichyssoise of leek and potato, wattle seed tofu and chilli. Main was sous-vide Murray Cod, turned potatoes, beetroot, asparagus and vermouth beurre blanc. Her dessert was a lemon thyme and honey panna cotta, raspberries, shortbread crumbs and Nestlé Docello Snowcap cremeux.
Lilly dessert v1 crop-795-66 (Lily)   Joosje entree v1 crop-451-89 (Joosje)
Joosje’s menu was a ravioli entrée with a homemade ricotta and spinach mix on a tomato base sauce, served with a shaved asparagus salad. Her main was pan-fried Murray cod, served with a beurre blanc, gremolata, pickled mushroom, and crispy potatoes. For dessert, she created a frangipane, caramelised pear, caramel sauce, macadamia, and oat crumb served with a tuille.
The chefs are judged by expert judges from the Australian Culinary Federation, NZ Chefs and Nestlé Professional who assess professional practices, presentation and the all-important taste factor, all to globally recognised standards.
Overall winner of the event was Melbourne chef Jimmy Han. He won a two-week European culinary experience, valued at $10,000, to travel with the Australian Culinary Olympics Junior Team to the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany. He was also awarded a culinary work experience in Europe plus a bespoke set of beautifully crafted Knives.
For close to six decades, Nestlé Golden Chefs has been proudly supporting more than 7,500 chefs to advance their culinary careers across Australia and New Zealand.

NZ Chefs Junior Team at International Young Chef Challenge in Ningbo, China.

Unfortunately, this event was postponed due to uncompleted construction. Huge disappointment to Lilly, Joseph and Phoenix, but we wish you the best for the rest of the culinary year. Special thanks to Coach/manager Geoff Scott for all the work in the background. Looking forward to 2024.


NZ Chefs Junior Team L to R:
Joseph Lunn, Lilly Boles and Phoenix Hellewell. - and coach Geoff Scott

NZ Chefs announce Junior Team to compete in China

NZ Chefs has announced the NZ Chefs junior team of three junior chefs and their tutor from Auckland University of Technology [AUT] will represent New Zealand and compete at the International Young Chefs Challenge in Ningbo, China at the end of November. The Challenge, being held at Ningbo Gulin Vocational School will see teams from 33 countries taking part in the two-day challenge. The school has a hotel as part of its training facilities where the competitors will stay.

NZ Chefs President Shannon Fryer said ‘NZ Chefs were delighted to receive the invitation for a team to compete in China. It’s a great opportunity for our up-and-coming young star chefs. Congratulations to AUT for being the Inaugural Team. We are looking at establishing this challenge on the Culinary Calendar.
NZ Chefs selected the teams from Expressions of Interest from tutors who had attended the Worldchefs’ Education workshop in March 2023. The Team Coach will undertake Worldchefs’ Judging responsibilities at the challenge.
Best wishes to NZ Junior Team in association with AUT.

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