Hospitality Business Magazine

Nestlé Golden Chefs award returns seeking young talented entrants

The Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award is back for 2023 seeking young New Zealand and Australian chefs to get involved.

As Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, now in its 58th year, this is a career making opportunity for participants to put their talent to the test and get industry recognition.

Key Dates For NZ Entrants

13-MarRegistrations open
5-MayEntries Close
13-MayRegional Competitors confirmed
26-JulNorth Island Regional Finals
28-JulSouth Island Regional Finals
11 & 12 SeptGrand Finals at Fine Foods Sydney

Entry is open to chefs in New Zealand and Australia aged 16-25 years. Eligible chefs will be guaranteed a place to compete in the regional heats. Entry is open online until Friday May 5 (11.59p.m. AEST) at and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.

Cooking off in a competitive environment and going up against other top culinary talent is a valuable learning experience. Participating chefs will also gain insights and feedback on their cooking skills from experienced judges who are accredited to global standards.

Last year, New Zealander Gabby Sanders beat the best young chef talent from across Australia and New Zealand to win the 2022 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Gabby says she was elated when she won the title and $10,000 cash prize, and encourages others to give it go.

“It was solid recognition of all the hard work and effort I put into juggling work and study commitments, while also preparing for the competition.”

This year will see a series of regional heats held across Australia and New Zealand from May through July, to select the grand finalists of 2023. The top 12 talented chefs will then represent their regions in a culinary cook-off showdown at the Fine Food Australia show in Sydney this September.

The experience and career advancing opportunities aside, this year has some amazing prizes to motivate at every stage.


After a three-year absence, the organisers are excited to offer a two-week European culinary experience, valued at $10,000 (with $1,000 spending money) for the 2023 Golden Chef of the Year winner. The winner will join the Australian Culinary Olympics Junior Team at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany.

The experience will also include an opportunity to gain a culinary work experience stage in Europe. Plus, to enhance their kitchen tool repertoire, the winner will also receive a bespoke set of beautifully 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 also on offer, as well as Most Creative and Most Sustainable award equipment packages to the value of $1,000 courtesy of SOLIDTEKNICS.

All up, Nestlé Golden Chef’s is a truly career enhancing opportunity to put yourself out there and see your culinary journey unfold.

Entry is open until Friday 5th May (11:59pm AEST).

Register online now at

Stay up to date on Facebook @goldenchefs and Instagram @golden_chefs

*Important information: Entry open to individuals who are AU or NZ residents working (current or recent) in the culinary industry or are a current culinary student and aged between 16-25 on 31.12.23 (if <18 obtain parent/guardian permission). Registration opens 9am (AEDT) 13 March 2023 and closes 11.59pm (AEST) 5 May 2023. All eligible entrants will be invited to attend the Regional and Metro cook offs which will occur between May – July 2023. Twelve entrants (one per region) will be awarded with a Regional and Metro cook off Prize and invited to participate in the Grand Final cook-offs which will occur in Sydney between 9-14 September 2023 (date/location is subject to change). There are 4 prizes to be won during the Grand Final cook-offs. For full entry requirements, cook-off details, prize categories and inclusions see