Young Chef dates

We’ve put together some brief information and the important dates to add to your calendar.

07 March 2018: Applications open

can you enter? young chefs can apply who:

  • 30 years of age or under as at Tuesday 07-Aug-18. applicants must be over 18
  • currently working professionally within the restaurant or catering industry in Australia on a full time basis or equivalent
  • currently working in an establishment that holds a liquor licence
  • have completed and hold the nationally recognised qualification of Certificate III in Hospitality – Commercial Cookery, OR have worked full time as a chef for a minimum of 2 years with a written & signed reference from their current employer stating your position and length of employment
  • are not the owner, or part owner of a restaurant/hospitality business
  • are not a hospitality trainer/teacher on a casual, part time or full time basis
  • are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident (working holiday & bridging visas aren’t accepted)
  • are able to participate in all the dates as listed on this page (excluding workshops)

15 April 2018: Applications close @ 11:59pm AEST 

30 April 2018: (week of) Judges selection 

we’ll be contacting all applicants during this week to advise them of their application status & if they have been selected as a finalist & what date in May they will be cooking if selected

28 May & 29 May 2018: State cook off

different states cook off on one of the above dates. we’ll let you know which day your state will be cooking in late april the selected finalists from each state will be flown to Sydney (if outside NSW) to prepare; cook and present their dish to the judging panel followed by an individual interview. brief feedback from the judges will be provided during your face to face interview. professional images of each dish will be taken and provided to you once received from the photographer. the judging panel will select 2-3  young chefs (state finalists) from each state to participate in the national cook off.

17 June – 19 June 2018: National & Final cook off

Sunday 17 June: portrait photography for all state finalists who are flown to Sydney (if outside NSW). there is an industry meet & greet; welcome dinner & chef briefing. Monday 18 June: national cook off: state finalists create dish(es) cooking from a mystery box of ingredients and/or from their own seasonal menu. preparing; cooking and presenting their dish(es) to the judging panel in addition to individual interviews. brief feedback from the judges will be provided during your face to face interview and professional image of each dish will be provided to you when received. the judging panel will select 6-7 young chefs (national finalists) to participate in the final cook off. Tuesday 19 June: final cook off: 6 – 7 young chefs (national finalists) participate in the final cook off using a pantry of mystery ingredients. the national finalists will prepare; cook and present their dishes to the judging panel and participate in individual interviews. the judges will be observe at various intervals to evaluate you on a number of different areas. brief feedback from the judges will be provided during your individual interview and some professional images will be taken and provided when received. the judging panel will select one young chef of the year, one runner up and potentially one highly commended, to be announced at the awards event in August.

08 July – 10 July 2018: Produce tour

all national finalists are required to participate in an all-expenses paid produce tour of one of Australia’s leading food and wine region to meet and learn from some Australia’s world renowned dairy, seafood, meat, horticulture and viticulture producers. This is made possible with support from partners such as Porkstar & Meat and Livestock Australia and Fisheries Research and Development Corporation.

5 August 2018: National finalists dinner 

an event to showcase the young waiter & chef national finalists in a pop up event organised by Appetite for Excellence where the spotlight shines on the young talent unearthed this year who will be working together as a collaborative group.

6 August 2018: Awards announcement 

The Australian Young Chef 2018 will be announced at invitation only event attended by 300 industry heavyweights; appetite for excellence alumni; local & national media, our partners and their guests, the awards event is designed to showcase the talents of all our national finalists as well as announcing the Australian young chef, young waiter and young restaurateur 2018.

Sept/Oct 2018: Workshops

all of our applicants are invited to participate in skills workshops held in each state in either September or October. these workshops consist of either sensory analysis, butchery classes or wine/spirit workshops

2019 date TBC: Australian Young Chef prize trip

As part of their prize, the young chef of the year participates in a tailor made overseas culinary trip to stage in an renowned restaurants over a 2 week period with the assistance of our judges & Appetite for Excellence. From visiting , staging at Michelin star restaurants of your choice in Europe with flights provided by Virgin Australia. Check out 2015 young chef Jake Kellie’s trip here..

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