Appetite for Excellence announces 2019 National Finalists

Appetite for Excellence, the ultimate national awards program which fosters the next generation of hospitality professionals, has today announced the 2019 national finalists, after a rigorous judging process.

The finalists were chosen by a prestigious panel made up of Australian hospitality leaders including: Jo Barrett, Peter Gilmore, Guy Grossi, Analiese Gregory, Luke Mangan, Dan Hunter, Martin Benn, Kylie Javier-Ashton, Phil Wood, Dan Puskas, Andrew McConnell, Danielle Gjestland, Lisa van Haandel, James Viles, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Richard Ousby and Marilyn Annecchini.

The judging process commenced with written applications across three categories: young chef, young waiter and young restaurateur. From there, the panel of judges selected finalists who moved through to the next round.

For the young chefs this meant a three-stage cook off. The young waiters took part in interviews and knowledge testing. Their skills were also assessed as they looked after a table of guests at a lunch event attended by industry leaders in Sydney earlier this week with a menu by Appetite for Excellence 2016 Young Chef winner Aaron Ward of Ester. The young restaurateurs went through a series of panel and one-on-one interviews that delved into their business plans, growth and direction to determine the national finalists.

The 2019 National Finalists are:

 

Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Chef NATIONAL finalists

 

1. Anna Ugarte-Carral, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

2. Ashley-Maree Kent, Tasca Coolangatta QLD

3. Bianca Johnston, Tom McHugo’s TAS

4. George Wintle, Oakridge Wines VIC

5. James Cole-Bowen, Restaurant Lume VIC

6. Serkan Tamcelik, Quay Restaurant NSW

7. Thomas Foster, Cirrus Dining NSW

Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Waiter NATIONAL finalists

 

1. Caitlin McDonald, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

2. Caroline Simpson, Rosetta Ristorante VIC

3. Nance Liong, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

4. Olivia Evans, Fleet NSW

5. Orlena Prosser, AKIBA ACT

6. Sophie Gitterle, Quay Restaurant NSW

Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Restaurateur NATIONAL finalists

 

1. Charlie Carrington, Atlas Dining VIC

2. Daisy Miller, Soi38 SA

3. Hannah Abraham, Il Passagio NSW

4. Luke Piccolo, Limone NSW

Aiming to identify Australia’s top young hospitality talent, nurture them and give them the tools to succeed in the fast-paced hospitality industry, Appetite for Excellence gives entrants exclusive access to esteemed mentors, exceptional training and limitless career opportunities. 

Luke Mangan, co-founder of Appetite for Excellence said: “The hospitality industry has been a big part of my life, so for me it’s important to give something back to the industry that has given me so much. Through Appetite for Excellence and the support of Australia’s hospitality industry leaders, we’re doing everything we can to educate and support our young up-and-coming industry professionals.”

The program has an unparalleled record of discovering Australia’s best new talent, with Josh Niland (Saint Peter), Thi Le (Anchovy), Jake Kellie (Burnt Ends), James Viles (Biota) and Richard Ousby (Stokehouse), just a few of the names that have come through the program.

The national finalists will take part in a three-day produce tour, where they will visit regional locations across New South Wales before returning to Sydney for the Appetite for Excellence Awards Ceremony on 6 August, where the winners will be announced.

As well as the chef, waiter and restaurateur categories, Appetite for Excellence and Perrier challenge Australia’s bartenders to create a modern Perrier Aperitivo cocktail using Perrier mineral water. This year’s competition will be judged by two of Australia’s best bartenders: Luke Ashton, Diageo’s 2013 World Class Bartender of the Year and owner of This Must Be The Place and Jenna Hemsworth, Head Bartender at Restaurant Hubert, 2018 Australian Bartender of the Year and 2019 Australian Bacardi Legacy Champion. Finalists will be flown to Sydney to make their Perrier Aperitivo cocktail for the judges and the Perrier team and the ‘Perrier Aperitivo – Create an Icon’ competition winner will be announced at the Appetite for Excellence Awards Ceremony. Applications close June 30, 2019 and further details are available here: https://www.appetiteforexcellence.com/ 

Appetite for Excellence is made possible by dedicated partners who understand the importance of investing in the future of the Australian hospitality industry. Major partners include: Tourism Australia, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, Perrier and Parmalat Professional and Official Airline partner, Virgin Australia. Supporting partners include: PorkStar, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), and Rare Medium. Event partners include: TAFE NSW (Ultimo), Vic’s Premium Quality Meats, L.J. Parthenos and Sons, Chef Works Australia, Leading Teams and Unico Zelo wines. 

The long list of finalists across the three categories were:

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur

 

● Charlie Carrington, Atlas Dining VIC

● Daisy Miller, Soi38 SA

● Hannah Abraham, Il Passagio NSW

● Luke Piccolo, Limone NSW

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter

● Andres Aragon, The Newport NSW

● Caitlin McDonald, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

● Caroline Simpson, Rosette Ristorante VIC

● Kate Smith, Hellenic Republic VIC

● Nance Liong, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

● Olivia Evans, Fleet NSW

● Orlena Prosser, AKIBA ACT

● Sophie Gitterle, Quay Restaurant NSW

● Suk Mun Wai, Automata NSW

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Chefs

● Anna Ugarte-Carral, Momofuku Seiobo NSW

● Ashley-Maree Kent, Tasca Coolangatta NSW

● Bianca Johnston, Tom McHugo’s TAS

● Clare Falzon, Hentley Farm SA

● George Wintle, Oakridge Wines VIC

● George Mirosevich, Restaurant Mason NSW

● James Cole-Bowen, Restaurant Lume VIC

● Mark Bunter, Wasabi Restaurant & Bar QLD

● Mathew Lee, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre QLD

● Serkan Tamcelik, Quay Restaurant NSW

● Thomas Foster, Cirrus Dining NSW

For more information please visit: https://www.appetiteforexcellence.com/

Please direct all media enquiries to The Cru – Brand Specialists Restaurants + Lifestyle + Destination 
Shannon Blanchard | E: shannon@thecrumedia.com | M: +61432543377
Emily Levins | E: emily@thecrumedia.com | M: +61476325781

Follow Appetite of Excellence social media channels –
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Instagram: @appetiteforexcellence

Appetite for Excellence

Appetite for Excellence was founded in 2005 by Luke Mangan and Lucy Allon who recognised the
need for the hospitality industry to support the next generation. It began with Australian Young Chef
of the Year and has evolved to include Australian Young Waiter of the Year (in 2007) and Australian
Young Restaurateur of the Year (in 2009), creating a holistic program that rewards all aspects of the
industry.

Appetite for Excellence Prizes

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Restaurateur

 

Trophy

Return overseas flights courtesy of Virgin Australia

$5,000 to invest in a business project approved by the Young Restaurateur judging panel

PR and media recognition

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Waiter

 

Trophy

Opportunity to stage at a world leading European restaurant

Return overseas flights courtesy of Virgin Australia

$3,000 to assist with overseas accommodation and expenses

PR and media recognition

2019 Appetite for Excellence Young Chef

 

Trophy

Opportunity to stage at a world leading European restaurant

Return overseas flights courtesy of Virgin Australia

$3,000 to assist with overseas accommodation and expenses

PR and media recognition

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