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ServiceIQ congratulates Cookery Apprentice of the Year Nickolas Han


The ServiceIQ Cookery Apprentice of the Year 2014 is Nickolas Han of New Plymouth. Nickolas was awarded the title last night at the Culinary Fare in Auckland, after being the runner-up last year.

This is New Zealand’s toughest and most prestigious competition for apprentice chefs. ServiceIQ Chief Executive says,

“winning Cookery Apprentice of the Year shows Nickolas’s talent and promise. I’m pleased he has chosen to compete again this year and wish him the best for the future. Previous winners work around the world and I have no doubt Nickolas will represent New Zealand and its cuisine internationally.”

As the winner, Nickolas will travel to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival next year. Nickolas and the other finalists also become members of the Chef’s Association.

Nickolas, 28, is a chef at the Pacific International Hotel Management School, New Plymouth, and is undertaking the ServiceIQ Apprenticeship in Cookery. He has completed the ServiceIQ Certificate in Hospitality Services and also has a Bachelor of Applied Microbiology from South Korea.

Nickolas says his path to becoming a chef began in 2008 when he started working in an Italian restaurant as a kitchen hand. “It was a life changing moment and from this point in time I knew what I wanted to be. The best things about the Apprenticeship are that I can learn on the job, get trained, get qualified and get paid for it. I love my job due to the fact cooking has no boundary.”

Nickolas’s winning recipes, all prepared in two hours 30 minutes, were:

  • Thai kumara and coconut soup with kumara crisp and fresh coriander
  • Smoked bacon & prawn tortellini with red pepper coulis
  • Spinach & beetroot stuffed chicken roulade with balsamic glaze and truffle oil sitting on a courgette fritter
  • Indian spiced lamb noisette with pudina chutney on puri
  • Apple & rhubarb risotto with salted mint toffee shard

Nickolas completed his challenge with five minutes to spare, “so I knew I was on the right track!” Today he celebrates his win by going straight back to work.

06 CulinaryFare Nicolas compressed

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