Future restaurant leaders to vie for national awards

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 10th June 2009

The state finalists for the prestigious Electrolux Appetite for Excellence Awards were announced last week in three categories: Electrolux Young Chef, Electrolux Young Waiter and Electrolux Young Restaurateur.

Now in its fifth year, Electrolux Appetite for Excellence, co-founded by Luke Mangan and Lucy Allon, is dedicated to educating and nurturing emerging hospitality industry professionals.

The finalist chefs from across the country participated in a professional ‘cook off’, racing against the clock to prepare a main dish for a judging panel of Australia’s leading chefs, including Guy Grossi, Peter Doyle and Tetsuya Wakuda. The finalist waiters, meanwhile, put their palates to the test with a blind food and wine tasting, and demonstrated their customer service skills under careful scrutiny of judges including Lisa Van Haandel, Luke Stringer, Sam Christie and Tony Papas.

“The Electrolux Appetite for Excellence state finals were very challenging this year and the finalists did an amazing job. It’s not an easy task to prepare a dish for the likes of Guy Grossi or Tetsuya Wakuda! These finalists are a shining example of the incredible young hospitality talent we have in Australia,” said Luke Mangan.

The following young aspiring professionals will vie for the national awards:
Electrolux Young Chef Finalists (Name, Restaurant, State)
Ian Atkinson, Universal, NSW
Peter Kelly, Alchemy, QLD
Matthew Dempsey, Pettavel Winery & Restaurant, VIC
Ayhan Erkoc, The Manse, SA
Jessica Jackson, Daniel Alps at Strathlynn, TAS
Brendan Pratt, Frasers, WA

Electrolux Young Waiter Finalists
Fleur Elson-White, Tetsuya’s, NSW
Ramon Arnavas, Restaurant Two, QLD
Alice Heath, Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, VIC
Mark Reginato, Sparrow Kitchen & Bar, SA
Adnan Crees-Morris, Daniel Alps at Strathlynn, TAS
Alyce Hall, The Richardson Hotel, WA
Raechell Petty, Il Piatto, Darwin, NT

Electrolux Young Restaurateur Finalists
Danielle Gjestland, Wasabi, QLD
Alex Kearns, Glebe Point Diner, NSW
Zoe Ladyman, Libertine, VIC
Kif Weber, Mud Bar, TAS

The state finalists have won an all expenses paid five day tour through Victoria’s food and wine region to meet and learn from some of Australia’s world renowned pork, dairy, seafood, meat, horticulture, emerging industries and viticulture producers. Following the tour, the 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 further tested in a series of customer skills, food and wine knowledge.

The prize package includes a once in a lifetime experience to represent Australia in the famous San Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice.