2020 Applications OPEN!

Applications for Appetite for Excellence 2020 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur, Australia’s most prestigious awards for young hospitality talent, are now open. 

Founded in 2005 by Luke Mangan OAM and Lucy Allon, Appetite for Excellence is Australia’s only national awards program for aspiring young chefs, waiters and restaurateurs who want to take their careers to the next level.

Through a program of application and judging, educational workshops and leadership mentoring activities, Appetite for Excellence identifies Australia’s top young talent, puts them through their paces, challenges them to develop their skills and provides them with mentoring and education to nurture their success in becoming Australia’s next generation of inspiring hospitality industry leaders.

The prizes are enviable and open up career-changing opportunities and experiences. The 2020 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur winners will enjoy return overseas flights; the opportunity to experience a stagiaire at a world renowned restaurant; $2500 to help with overseas travel and expenses; and, money-can’t-buy PR and media recognition. The 2020 Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur finalists are also rewarded with an all-expenses-paid tour of one of Australia’s leading food and beverage regions to meet producers and learn about agricultural and viticultural practices. 

The 2019 winners are preparing to embark on their prize trips in the next few months. 2019 Young Chef winner, Bianca Johnston is travelling to the UK to spend two-weeks at Lyle’s in London followed by a stint at Coombeshead Farm. Cornwall. 2019 Young Waiter winner, Olivia Evans is also heading to the UK, to Silo London where she is doing a two-week front-of-house stage; and, 2019 Young Restaurateur winner Luke Piccolo is heading to Italy to spend time in the Campagna, Basilicata and Abruzzo regions of Italy researching and learning about the wines of the region, specifically Avellino, Vulture and producer Emidio Pepe, to bring back the knowledge he gains to apply to the Italian varietals he has recently planted on the Piccolo Family Farm in Griffith. 

Appetite for Excellence is led by a community of Australia’s top industry talent as judges who give their valuable time to mentor the finalists. Judges, present and past, include Peter Gilmore, Dan Hunter, Martin Benn, Dan Puskas, Mark Best, David Thompson, Christine Manfield, Ross Lusted, Peter Doyle, Lyndey Milan, Guy Grossi, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Lisa van Haandel, Nick Hildebrandt, Sam Christie, Marilyn Annechini, Dan Hong, Analiese Gregory, Kylie Javier Ashton and Duncan Welgemoed.

As a testament to the success of the program, past winners and finalists include those now leading the new wave of exciting, ground-breaking Australian restaurants such as James Viles (Biota; Barn by Biota), Josh Niland (Saint Peter; Fish Butchery), Max Sharrad (NIDO), Thi Le (Anchovy) and Danielle Gjestland (Wasabi). 

Appetite for Excellence is made possible by our dedicated partners who understand the importance of investing in the future of the hospitality industry. We are proud to work with Tourism Australia; Parmalat; PorkStar; Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC); Rare Medium; TAFE NSW; Vic’s Premium Quality Meat; and Joto Fresh Fish and we thank them for their invaluable support. 

Career focussed chefs and waiters aged over 18 and 30 years or under on Tuesday 4 August are eligible to enter the Young Chef and Young Waiter categories; restaurateurs who have owned their own licenced business for a minimum of two years and are under 35 years of age on Tuesday 4 August 2019 are eligible to enter the Young Restaurateur category.

Interested in applying? Find out more via the links below:

Young Chef 2020 – click here to learn more

Young Waiter 2020 – click here to learn more

Young Restaurateur 2020 – click here to learn more

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