Skip to content

Who will be New Zealand’s sharpest Apprentice Chef?


Eight talented young chefs will compete for the ServiceIQ Apprentice Chef of the Year title next month. This is New Zealand’s toughest and most prestigious competition for apprentice chefs, sponsored by ServiceIQ.

The competition will be held on 19 August as part of the New Zealand Culinary Fare at Auckland’s Vodafone Events Centre.

All eight entrants are training through the Apprenticeship in Cookery programme and will be tested on their kitchen skills. Finalists must demonstrate the technical and organisational skills required of a top chef while creating a first-class menu.

All finalists become members of the Chefs’ Association and the winner will attend the 2015 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, with travel valued at up to $3000.

Last year’s winner Tamara Johnson was cooking at St Heliers Bay Café & Bistro. This year she takes up a year-long internship at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida. “Winning Apprentice Chef of the Year was one of the best moments of my life. It took a lot of passion and determination to give me the confidence needed to succeed.”

ServiceIQ Chief Executive Dean Minchington says, “winning the Apprentice Chef of the Year competition is a major endorsement of the winner’s kitchen, and the talent in the apprenticeship programmes. It is New Zealand’s premiere cooking competition for trainee chefs.”

The eight finalists are:

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Ash Wade

Jet Park Hotel, Auckland

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Emily O’Brien

Rendezvous Hotel, Christchurch

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Hayley Southee

Nero Restaurant, Palmerston North

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Logan Birch

Prego Restaurant, Auckland

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Nickolas Han

Pacific International Hotel Management School, New Plymouth

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Robert Fairs

Cook ‘n’ with Gas, Christchurch

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Tai Nguyen

Waipuna Hotel, Auckland

IQ Ribbon Icon Gold
Thanwayn Pam Marsh

Novotel Auckland Airport, Auckland

For more information, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email