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Who is New Zealand's best young chef?


Finalists revealed in prestigious ServiceIQ Apprentice Chef of the Year Award 2016

The heat is on for six talented young Kiwi chefs who will go head-to-head to win the coveted title of ServiceIQ Cookery Apprentice of the Year 2016, this week.

New Zealand’s toughest and most exciting competition for apprentice chefs, sponsored by ServiceIQ, gives ambitious young culinary stars the opportunity to gain recognition, expand their skills and take their career to the next level. 

The winner will travel to the world-famous Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in 2017, worth around $3,000, while all finalists will receive a prize pack from, and become members of the prestigious NZ Chefs’ Association. It’s a great entrée to a culinary career. 

The competition is part of the NZ Chefs’ National Salon, and will be held at 4pm on Thursday, 28th July August at the Logan Campbell Centre, ASB showgrounds, Auckland.

All six entrants are training on job through ServiceIQ’s Apprenticeship in Cookery programme. The judges will be looking for excellent technique and the level of professional skill and creativity it takes to deliver delicious food and perform as a top chef.

ServiceIQ Chief Executive Dean Minchington says it’s important to support New Zealand’s next generation of culinary stars at this premiere cooking competition. Especially at a time when the industry is in urgent need of many more qualified chefs.   

“It’s a major boost for the winner’s career, and a significant endorsement for the restaurant and the great chefs who mentor them,” he says.

The finalists and their creations are:

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Sam Scott
Sky City Auckland

Stent Road - Dashi Crayfish Tail, Uni Air, Pikopiko


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Camila Niewlands
Pure Café Co, Christchurch

Alkalising Macrobiotic Bowl


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Lianna Connor
The Cellar Door Café, Nelson

Lapsang Souchong Duck 


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Jacob Kanters
Fahrenheit Restaurant & Bar, Te Awamutu

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Roulade


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Mathew Greig
Victoria Street Bistro, Hamilton

Flavours of Life - Hereford prime eye fillet with truffle gnocchi


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Aaron Kingsford
The Falls Retreat, Waihi

Duck Odyssey - Cured duck breast with chicken liver parfait