The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Melbourne 2024 Nestlé finals beckon Ellerslie young chef

Melbourne 2024 Nestlé finals beckon Ellerslie young chef

Emily Morgan, a young chef from the recently opened and much admired Bianca Pasta shop in Ellerslie, has impressed judges with her menu, securing a trip to Melbourne representing the North Island in Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs.

Emily was among 15 top young chefs from around the North Island who faced off in the North Island regional finals at Ignite Colleges at the 2024 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Her menu, specially created for the cook off comprised a main of Swiss chard and mushroom chicken roulade, MAGGI instant mashed potato mix with thyme gnocchi and carrot puree. Dessert was a pear tarte tatin shortbread and a Buondi coffee and MAGGI Royal Couverture chocolate cremeux.

Reanna Dugmore won the Most Innovative Use of Coffee Award for her dessert of Buondi Steady State Bean and Nestlé Royal Chocolate Couverture Bavarois with Nestlé Sweetened Condensed Milk sauce and lemon infused poached pear with a macadamia biscuit and sugar topping. The prize was a KOI Knife valued at $295.

Reanna Dugmore won the Most Innovative Use of Coffee Award.

Junior chefs who are considered the ‘cream of the crop’ in their chosen field entered the competition to battle it out against each other in a series of culinary cook offs to find New Zealand’s best.

All the chefs, aged 16-24 years, entered the competition for a chance to fire up their culinary careers and went all out to win the coveted top award.

Competing chefs each created a two-course menu comprising a main and dessert dish – both of which were marked by a panel of leading industry judges according to globally recognised culinary standards.

Nestlé Professional Commercial Advisory Chef Karl Seidel says cooking off in a competitive environment and going up against other top culinary talent is a valuable learning experience. Participating chefs also gain insights and feedback on their cooking skills from experienced judges who are accredited to global standards.

Last year, Joosje Bouman and Lilly Boles won their respective regional heats in New Zealand and went on to compete at the Grand Finals held at Fine Food Australia in Sydney.

Reflecting on their experiences, both Joosje and Lilly say the rewards gained from competing were invaluable. Regardless of experience level, they say that every aspiring chef can shine at the event.

Emily along with the winner of the South Island Regional finals will go on to a kitchen battle against other top chefs from across Australia in the public arena at Fine Food Australia in Melbourne this September.

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