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Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award Regional Cook-Offs Commence

Young chefs from across Australia and New Zealand set to compete in career-making competition.

NGCHA regional finals generic media release

The regional finals are set to kick-off for Australia’s longest-running culinary competition for emerging chefs, the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards. Over 200 up and coming young chefs, aged 16-24, have entered to battle it out at the regional heats in locations across Australia and New Zealand between May – July, 2024.

Assessed to globally recognised standards, each chef will have two and a half hours to prepare and present two plates of a main course and a dessert to the panel of judges throughout the regional finals.

The highest scorer from each area will progress to the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award Grand Final at Melbourne’s Fine Food Expo – the largest food service expo in the Southern Hemisphere – in September.

These 12 regional finalists will go head-to-head over two heats in front of a live audience to determine one national winner. The 2024 Nestlé Golden Chef of the Year will be announced at an exclusive industry awards ceremony and receive an international culinary experience valued at $10,000 ^!

Careers will be made

With the support of Nestlé Professional, the Australian Culinary Federation and NZChefs, the Golden Chef’s Hat Award has provided a springboard for more than 8,000 chefs to advance their careers.

Nestlé Executive Chef and Golden Chef judge, Elke Travers said: “Since 1965, Nestlé Professional has supported the future of the food service industry through the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award and celebrated local aspiring chefs.

“From Perth WA to Grafton in Northern NSW, all the way across to New Zealand’s South Island, the cook-offs give these young chefs the chance to showcase the local region’s exceptional culinary talent, hone their skills, while gaining industry recognition and opening doors to career-making opportunities.” Chef Elke said.

Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award 2008 and 2009 national finalist and Executive Chef at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Dylan Sanding said: “The regional cook-offs provided me with an invaluable opportunity to connect with world-class chefs and mentors – it’s a fantastic platform to encourage and inspire the future champions of our local foodservice industry.”

For more information on the regional finals, please visit

Prize value^
•    There are over $30,000 AUD in prizes to be won across the regional and grand finals.
•    The Golden Chef of the Year will win a $10,000AUD all-expenses-paid trip to the Worldchefs' Congress in Singapore, including $1,000 spending money and work experience at a renowned restaurant.