Adelaide and Melbourne share the honours in Appetite for Excellence awards

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 12th August 2008

restaurant meal

The Lexus Appetite for Excellence awards were held in Sydney last night with chefs and waiters from Melbourne and Adelaide scooping the pool in the Young Chef and Young Waiter of the year awards.

The awards, which have been running since 2005, reward some of Australia’s up and coming talent in the restaurant industry. Only those under the age of thirty can be considered for the awards.

Each Australian state is represented with one finalist, with the decision on the winners being chosen by a select group of leading Australian chefs and restaurateurs. Chefs contending for the award first need to submit a seasonal menu (which will help decide the finalists) and a cook-off is held at the finals to determine the national winner.

Waiters are first judged on their answers to a questionnaire regarding customer service, wine and food knowledge and leadership skills, before the finalists compete in food and wine knowledge tests and a series of skills assessment sessions.

The top prize for Young Chef of the year went to Jake Nicholson, the 29 year-old sous chef at ‘Circa, the Prince’, a leading Melbourne restaurant operating in the suburb of St. Kilda. Runner-up was Rebecca Stubbs from acclaimed Adelaide restaurant ‘Enoteca’.

Leanne Altmann from North Adelaide’s ‘The Manse’ claimed the honour of Young Waiter of the year, with Chris Gingell from ‘Circa, the Prince’ the runner-up in the category.