Hospitality Business Magazine

New Zealand contenders for Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Awards announced

Lilly Boles, a 19 year old student chef at AUT and Joosje Bouman, a 22 year old sous chef at Kaisar Brew Garden in Christchurch, have each secured a trip to Sydney to compete in Australia’s longest running and most highly regarded culinary competition for young chefs.  

This is the second time Joosje will compete in the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award commenting that she decided to enter again because she had a lot of fun competing last year and learnt a lot from the judges.

“I did a lot of prep work and general training in the work kitchen in the lead up to the South Island competition to ensure the menu would be perfect.”

To secure her spot in the grand finals Joosje produced a main course of panko crusted Pork Loin, sweet potato puree, a couscous and asparagus salad, and strawberry and kiwifruit jus. For dessert she served up a pavlova roulade, a Nestlé French Vanilla Mousse infused with Nescafé Gold Coffee, walnut crumb served with fresh fruit.

The NZChefs judging panel rated each dish to globally recognised culinary standards, awarding Joosje an overall bronze medal.


This is the first culinary competition Lilly Boles has entered, deciding to take every opportunity that came her way while training to be a chef.

“I trained three times a week in the lead up to the North Island section of the competition to ensure that I had the menu perfected. From a young age, my Mum has always involved us in the kitchen. Some of my best times were spent eating good food surrounded by family.”

To secure her spot in the grand finals Lilly produced a main course of stuffed Pork Roulade with a CHEF Black Garlic Paste hummus, a carrot relish, grilled asparagus and jus. For dessert she served honey and thyme pannacotta, with white chocolate cream, strawberry coulis and honey snap.

The NZChefs judging panel, of Hughie Blues, Geoff Scott and Craig Lucas, rated each dish to globally recognised culinary standards, awarding Lilly an overall silver medal.

Karl Seidel, Commercial Advisory Chef Nestlé Professional New Zealand said:

“For close to six decades we’ve proudly supported more than 7,500 chefs to advance their culinary careers across Australia and New Zealand. Being part of the Golden Chef’s Hat competition gives the next generation of chefs the opportunity to put themselves to the test, improve their cooking skills and connect with like-minded chefs as well as the broader industry. Lilly really delivered on the day with a considered and well executed menu that stood out from the rest.”

Lilly and Joosje are now part of 12 top chefs from across New Zealand and Australia gearing up to do kitchen battle at Fine Food Australia in Sydney this September, where one winner will be crowned Golden Chef of the Year.

This year’s ultimate winner will be rewarded with a two-week European culinary experience, valued at $10,000, to travel with the Australian Culinary Olympics Junior Team at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany.

This opportunity will also include a culinary work experience stage in Europe, and an opportunity to enhance their kitchen tool repertoire with a bespoke set of crafted KOI Knives.

In addition to the ultimate Golden Chef of the Year award, two $2,500 cash prizes for Best Savoury Dish and Best Dessert Dish are on offer, as well as Most Creative and Most Sustainable award equipment packages to the value of $1,000 courtesy of SOLIDTEKNICS.