Applications are now open for the 13th Appetite for Excellence, the national awards program aimed at young hospitality professionals, boasting a new judging panel tasked to uncover young culinary talent across Australia. This year Appetite for Excellence will join forces with The Inspired Series, a development programs that enables TAFE commercial cookery students to learn hands-on cooking skills and industry tips from Australia’s top chefs. The program awards the Australian Young Chef, Australian Young Waiter and Australian Young Restauranteur of the Year, rewarded with access to esteemed mentors, exceptional training and diverse career opportunities.

Luke Mangan, founder of Appetite for Excellence and The Inspired Series, said that the hospitality industry has been a large part of his life. “Being a chef, it’s important to give something back to the industry that has given me so much,” said Luke. “Through Appetite for Excellence and The Inspired Series, 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.”

New to the judging panel for the 2018 program are Dan Hong, the head chef at Sydney’s Chinese restaurant Mr Wong, Analiese Gregory, the head chef at Hobart’s Franklin, and Kylie Javier Ashton, the head chef at Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo. Appetite for Excellence has a record for discovering Australia’s new hospitality talent, finding Josh Niland, the head chef at acclaimed fish eatery Saint Peter, and uncovering Richard Ousby, the head chef at Stokhouse Q, a Brisbane-based restaurant specialising in modern Mediterranean dishes.

The program has been so successful that plans have been put in place for the Inspired Series to visit Noosa and regional areas of New South Wales. Inspiring and enabling knowledge and entrepreneurship will remain the programs central concern.

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