Wednesday 5 June 2019
Appetite for Excellence, the ultimate national awards program which fosters the next generation of hospitality professionals, has today announced the 2019 national finalists, after a rigorous judging process.
The finalists were chosen by a prestigious panel made up of Australian hospitality leaders including: Jo Barrett, Peter Gilmore, Guy Grossi, Analiese Gregory, Luke Mangan, Dan Hunter, Martin Benn, Kylie Javier-Ashton, Phil Wood, Dan Puskas, Andrew McConnell, Danielle Gjestland, Lisa van Haandel, James Viles, Troy Rhoades-Brown, Richard Ousby and Marilyn Annecchini.
The judging process commenced with written applications across three categories: young chef, young waiter and young restaurateur. From there, the panel of judges selected finalists who moved through to the next round.
For the young chefs this meant a three-stage cook off. The young waiters took part in interviews and knowledge testing. Their skills were also assessed as they looked after a table of guests at a lunch event attended by industry leaders in Sydney earlier this week with a menu by Appetite for Excellence 2016 Young Chef winner Aaron Ward of Ester. The young restaurateurs went through a series of panel and one-on-one interviews that delved into their business plans, growth and direction to determine the national finalists.
The 2019 National Finalists are: (Portraits of the National Finalists can be found: here)
Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Chef NATIONAL finalists
Anna Ugarte-Carral, Momofuku Seiobo NSW
Ashley-Maree Kent, Tasca Coolangatta NSW
Bianca Johnston, Tom McHugo’s TAS
George Wintle, Oakridge Wines VIC
James Cole-Bowen, Restaurant Lume VIC
Serkan Tamcelik, Quay Restaurant NSW
Thomas Foster, Cirrus Dining NSW
Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Waiter NATIONAL finalists
Caitlin McDonald, Momofuku Seiobo NSW
Caroline Simpson, Rosetta Ristorante VIC
Nance Liong, Momofuku Seiobo NSW
Olivia Evans, Fleet NSW
Orlena Prosser, AKIBA ACT
Sophie Gitterle, Quay Restaurant NSW
Appetite for Excellence 2019 Young Restaurateur NATIONAL finalists
Charlie Carrington, Atlas Dining VIC
Daisy Miller, Soi38 SA
Hannah Abraham, Il Passagio NSW
Luke Piccolo, Limone NSW
Aiming to identify Australia’s top young hospitality talent, nurture them 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.
Luke Mangan, co-founder of Appetite for Excellence said: “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 support of Australia’s hospitality industry leaders, we’re doing everything we can to educate and support our young up-and-coming industry professionals.”
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 (Stokehouse), just a few of the names that have come through the program.
The national finalists will take part in a three-day produce tour, where they will visit regional locations across New South Wales before returning to Sydney for the Appetite for Excellence Awards Ceremony on 6 August, where the winners will be announced.
As well as the chef, waiter and restaurateur categories, Appetite for Excellence and Perrier challenge Australia’s bartenders to create a modern Perrier Aperitivo cocktail using Perrier mineral water. This year’s competition will be judged by two of Australia’s best bartenders: Luke Ashton, Diageo’s 2013 World Class Bartender of the Year and owner of This Must Be The Place and Jenna Hemsworth, Head Bartender at Restaurant Hubert, 2018 Australian Bartender of the Year and 2019 Australian Bacardi Legacy Champion. Finalists will be flown to Sydney to make their Perrier Aperitivo cocktail for the judges and the Perrier team and the ‘Perrier Aperitivo - Create an Icon’ competition winner will be announced at the Appetite for Excellence Awards Ceremony. Applications close June 30, 2019 and further details are available here: https://www.appetiteforexcellence.com/
Appetite for Excellence is made possible by dedicated partners who understand the importance of investing in the future of the Australian hospitality industry. Major partners include: Tourism Australia, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, Perrier and Parmalat Professional and Official Airline partner, Virgin Australia. Supporting partners include: PorkStar, Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), and Rare Medium. Event partners include: TAFE NSW (Ultimo), Vic’s Premium Quality Meats, L.J. Parthenos and Sons, Chef Works Australia, Leading Teams and Unico Zelo wines.
For more information please visit: http://www.appetiteforexcellence.com/
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