The hunt is on for talented young chefs who can represent New Zealand in this year’s trans-Tasman Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award. 

Last year Sam Heaven from Auckland took out the top spot in Australia’s longest running culinary competition, which hit New Zealand shores for the first time in its 55 year history.

Sam Heaven.

Faced with the challenge of lockdowns in both countries, the competition responded with a new format that ensured the event continued and young culinary talent remained supported.

This year’s award will retain individual-chef entry and video submissions. Regional and final cook-offs are back, with prizes at every stage. Twelve grand finalist chefs will be selected from across Australia and New Zealand to compete in the ultimate culinary showdown at Fine Food Australia in Sydney. One winner will take out the top award – Golden Chef of the Year – along with an $AUD10k cash prize.

“One of the key things we’ve learnt over the past year is the importance of community and standing by our young chefs. We’re excited to be back to in-person cook-offs for 2021,” says executive chef Mark Clayton, Nestlé Professional.

Open for entry until May 21, chefs can enter online, submit a three minute video; cook-off live and share in a culinary journey that may take their careers to the next level.

Full details and registration can be found at

Registration and video submissions close Friday 21 May.

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