John Jamieson, 24, and Ryan Woodward, 22, who both work at OTTO Brisbane have impressed judges with their menu to win gold and secure themselves a trip to Sydney where they will represent Queensland in the finals of the 2019 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

First-time competitors, John and Ryan put their nerves aside and delivered a strong performance. “Everything went to plan on the day, particularly our dessert, I was really happy with that. I think competitions are a great way to benchmark yourself both personally and against your peers. We’re both looking forward to competing in Sydney in the national finals,” Ryan said.

Jamieson and Woodward created a two-course menu of seared lamb rump with potato, mushroom textures and seasonal greens for their main course. Their dessert was an olive oil cake with candy peanuts and coconut and lime cream. The judging panel awarded them a gold medal, scored against globally recognised culinary standards. These rising stars are now preparing to do a kitchen battle against the country’s top talent in the public arena at Fine Food Australia in Sydney this September.

Executive Chef and Nestlé Professional head judge Mark Clayton said the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award exists to support the professional development of young chefs. “This award is about pushing yourself to be a better chef. It offers young talent the opportunity to accelerate their culinary journey”. As Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, the  Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award has been running for 54 years, offering the next generation of young chef talent a platform to create new opportunities, learn valuable skills and connect with industry peers in the culinary industry. The 2019 national winning team will be awarded a $15,000 culinary trip of a lifetime to North America.

Readers also enjoyed next generation chefs proving their talent by taking over one of the Gold Coast’s award-winning restaurants.