National competition to inspire future restaurant leaders

Posted by James Ferre on 11th March 2009

Applications for Electrolux Appetite for Excellence, the ultimate national competition for young hospitality professionals are now open. The new season brings exciting news for the program as it welcomes a new naming rights partner, Electrolux, and the introduction of a new category for promising restaurant entrepreneurs, the Electrolux Young Restaurateur award.

“With Electrolux Appetite for Excellence we really want to support and encourage young professionals working in all aspects of the hospitality industry. The new young restaurateur category is a very exciting addition to our program for 2009,” said celebrated Australian chef Luke Mangan, co-founder of the program.

Searching Australia for emerging talent within the restaurant and catering industry, the competition aims to inspire, support and educate future industry leaders, providing
unique career opportunities and enviable prizes.

Applications are open to chefs and waiters aged 30 or under, and currently working in the Australian restaurant and catering industry. Chefs are invited to submit a seasonal menu comprising of canapé, entree, main and dessert. Waiters are invited to submit answers to questions testing their food and wine knowledge, customer service and leadership skills. Two applicants per state from each category will be invited to participate in the state finals in Sydney where the judging panel, comprising of Australia’s leading chefs and restaurateurs, will select the best applicant from each state to compete in the national final in Sydney in June 2009.

Nominations for Electrolux Young Restaurateur can be put forward by Australia’s industry leaders or by self nomination from individuals who have owned and operated their licensed business for a minimum of two years. Three finalists will be selected by the judges, which include Christine Manfield of Universal, Sydney and Neil Perry of Rockpool, Sydney, and evaluated via a series of interviews, assessing business acumen, passion and staff commitment.

Before national judging takes place, all the state finalists will win an all expenses paid five day tour of one of Australia’s leading food and wine regions to meet and learn from some of Australia’s world renowned pork, dairy, seafood, meat, horticulture, emerging industries and viticulture producers.

Following the trip, Electrolux Young Chef and Electrolux Young Waiter finalists will be flown to Sydney for the national judging where chefs compete in a mystery box cook-off and waiters are tested in a series of customer skills, food and wine knowledge. The winners also get the opportunity to represent Australia in the prestigious S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice amongst a host of other experiences.

Last year’s Young Chef of the Year was Jake Nicholson from ‘Circa, the Prince’ in Melbourne.