Appetite for Excellence: Top young chef, waiter and restaurateur

Wednesday 15 August 2018
Luke Keioskie's picture
Editor
The Shaker

Now in its thirteenth year, the national awards program Appetite for Excellence continues to attract the best of Australia’s food industry each year, to celebrate and nurture young talent and the future of the hospitality industry.

2018 also marks the first year Appetite for Excellence has joined forces with The Inspired Series, a development program that enables students, apprentices and young hospitality workers to gain insight from some of the country’s top chefs, waiters and restaurateurs on their experiences, providing them with career advice, tips and support within in the industry.

This year’s panel of new and returning judges boasted some of Australia’s biggest culinary names, including Luke Mangan (Luke’s Kitchen), Analiese Gregory (Franklin) and Kylie Javier Ashton (Momofuku Seiobo), Peter Gilmore (Quay, Bennelong), Sam Christie (The Apollo, Cho Cho San), Duncan Welgemoed (Africola), Danielle Gjestland (Wasabi), and Lisa Van Haandel (Longrain, Longsong), among others.

Appetite for Excellence 2018 winners are:

Australian Young Waiter 2018

Winner: Tyler Austin, Stokehouse Q QLD

One to watch: Olivia Evans, Paper Daisy Restaurant NSW

Australian Young Chef 2018

Winner: Max Sharrad, Shobosho SA

One to watch: Jessi McEwan, Hogget Kitchen VIC

Australian Young Restaurateur 2018

Winner: Cam O’Keefe, CENTRA VIC
Luke Mangan, who founded both the Appetite for Excellence and The Inspired Series programs said this year’s calibre of entrants has been nothing short of outstanding. “The 2018 winners and runners-up of the awards represent some of this country’s finest hospitality talent and it’s my hope that the opportunities offered by this program help give them the tools to succeed and further their careers in our industry,” Luke said.

The 2018 Appetite for Excellence program saw applications increase by 20% on the previous year, with applicants from seven states, and a 400% increase on female applicants. 

In an Appetite for Excellence first, the Perrier Spritz 'Create an Icon' competition was won by Sebastien Wattel from Bennelong Restaurant.

The program has an unparalleled record of discovering Australia’s best new talent, with Josh Niland (Saint Peter), Thi Le (Anchovy), Jake Kellie (Burnt Ends), James Viles (Biota) and Adam  D’Sylva (Coda and Tonka), among a long list of names that have come through the program.

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