The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

WANTED! Keen young chefs for Nestlé Golden Chef’s culinary competition

WANTED! Keen young chefs for Nestlé Golden Chef’s culinary competition

Registrations are now open for the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award 2024 and young New Zealand and Australian chefs are being encouraged to get involved.

Now entering its 59th year, Golden Chefs is Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs. For those who take part it can be a career defining moment where participants are able to showcase their skills and expertise for industry recognition.

Entry is open online until Monday 6 May at for New Zealand and Australian chefs aged 16-24 years as of 31 December 2024. If entrants meet the eligibility criteria, they will be guaranteed a spot at the regional heats.

Cooking off in a competitive environment and going up against other top culinary talent is considered a valuable learning experience. Participating young chefs also gain insights and feedback on their cooking skills from experienced judges who are accredited to global standards.

Last year New Zealanders Joosje Bouman and Lilly Boles won their respective regional heats 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 has the opportunity to shine at the event. It also provides a platform for aspiring chefs to showcase their talents and really kickstart their culinary careers.

To select the grand finalists for 2024, a series of regional heats will be held across New Zealand and Australia from May through to July. The winners of each heat will then go on to represent their regions in a cook-off culinary showdown at Fine Food Australia in Melbourne, in September.


✓ Solidteknics equipment package valued at $499 and a KOI Knife valued at $295 for each of the 12 regional winners.

New this year is the Most Innovative Use of Coffee Award. Presented to the chef who has demonstrated the most delicious use of Buondi Coffee Beans in their main or dessert courses – the prize is a KOI Knife valued at $295. There’s one up for grabs at each of the 12 regional finals.

Grand Finals Prize Package:

✓ The 2024 Golden Chef of the Year winner will receive a World Chef’s Congress 2024, 20-25 October travel and work experience in Singapore – valued at $10K.

Maggi Best Savoury Dish and Nestlé Docello Best Dessert Dish Award – $2,500K cash prizes for the winners.

Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Ingredient Award – a SOLIDTEKNICS AUS-INO™ package of the winner’s choice, valued at $1,200.

Most Sustainable Practice Award– Set of 6 x KOI Knives valued at $1,295

Buondi All Rounder Award – $1,000 cash prize for the chef who excels in working harmoniously with the team, actively supports others, communicates effectively, and contributes positively to the team’s performance and dynamics.

Tips for Success

Embrace the Opportunity: Approach the competition with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Savour the challenges it presents and make the most of every moment of the journey.

Trust Your Skills: Have confidence in your culinary abilities and trust the skills you’ve honed along the way. Believe in yourself and your ability to create exceptional dishes that showcase your talent and creativity.

Stay Calm and Focused: Amidst the excitement and pressure of the competition, remember to stay calm and focused. Take deep breaths throughout, maintain your composure, and channel your energy into delivering your best performance.

Enjoy the Moment: Above all, remember to enjoy the experience. Celebrate your love for cooking, relish the camaraderie with fellow chefs, and cherish the memories you will create along the way.

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