Appetite for Excellence, the ultimate national awards program aimed at young hospitality professionals, is back in 2018 with a new look and line-up of judges that includes the who’s who of Australia’s hospitality industry, and will join forces with The Inspired Series, a development program that enables TAFE commercial cookery students to learn hands-on cooking skills and industry tips from Australia’s top chefs.
Applications are now open for the thirteenth year of the Appetite for Excellence program that is tasked with uncovering young culinary talent across Australia and awards Australian Young Chef, Australian Young Waiter and Australian Young Restaurateur.
Luke Mangan, founder of Appetite for Excellence and The Inspired Series, said: “Being a chef, 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 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.”
Aiming to nurture young hospitality talent 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.
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 (Stokhouse), just a few of the names that have come through the program.
Appetite for Excellence has earned admiration and support over the years from Australia’s culinary heavyweights and industry leaders, all eager to discover emerging hospitality superstars. This year is slated to be bigger than ever with an acclaimed panel of judges. New judges for the 2018 program include: Dan Hong (Mr Wong), Analiese Gregory (Franklin) and Kylie Javier Ashton (Momofuku Seiobo) They will join Australian chefs and restaurateurs who have judged previous years including: Peter Gilmore (Quay and Bennelong), Sam Christie (Longrain, The Apollo, Cho Cho San), Nick Hildebrandt (The Bentley Group), Duncan Welgemoed (Africola), Danielle Gjestland (Wasabi), and Lisa Van Haandel (Longrain and Long Song) to name a few.
Australian Young Chef, Young Waiter and Young Restaurateur winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 6 August 2018.
Newly appointed director of Appetite for Excellence and The Inspired Series, Kylie Ball, is no stranger to the industry and understands the importance of nurturing young talent.
“In my years working for one of Australia’s leading hospitality groups, Fink Group, I was always focussing on the next generation – how can we give them the skills to succeed, and what do they need from us as leaders to go the distance in an industry that is challenging? To be able to now focus on what we, as an industry, can do for young talent, is incredibly rewarding,” said Kylie.
After events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide there are plans for Inspired Series events in Noosa and regional areas of NSW. The focus is on inspiring, educating and enabling entrepreneurship, leadership and knowledge.
The events take the form of Q&As with some of the worlds best chefs for young chefs and hospitality students from TAFE, hospitality training institutes and secondary colleges across Australia. Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana), Brett Graham (The Ledbury), Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park), Peter Gilmore (Quay and Bennelong), Ross Lusted (The Bridge Room), Josh Niland (Saint Peter) Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s) and Jock Zonfrillo (Restaurant Orana) have already taken part in events.
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Appetite for Excellence applications close 9 April 2018