The Australian Culinary Federation Fonterra Foodservice National Apprentice Competition Final was held at South Western Sydney Campbelltown Campus on Wednesday 26th October. Apprentices from all Australian States & Territories arrived Monday & hit the ground running on Tuesday morning when it was off to the Sydney markets at 4.30am to purchase their ingredients for the competition. With products sponsored from Fonterra, Bidvest, Nestle Professional & Krio Krush combined with their purchases the teams spent the afternoon preparing for the competition & tweaking the final details of their menus. They have come together for a week of camaraderie, networking & education including, touring The Southern highlands & culminating in a Gala Dinner at The Campbelltown Catholic Club Thursday evening. The awards were presented at the beginning of the evening prior to being treated to an exceptional meal prepared by Chef Paul Rifkin & his team.

For the first time the International Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge was held in conjunction with the National Apprentice competition when it came back to Australian Shores in 2016. Teams from across the pacific, Asia & Australia including New Caledonia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Tahiti, Noumea, Japan, South Australia, Queensland & Australia Capital Territory battled it out in the kitchens on Thursday 27th.  The high school competitors filled out the rest of the week with a paddock to plate tour, a visit to Darling Harbour and masterclasses in cheese & sugar work.

Trophies & knives donated by Furi went home with the Following award winners 3rd place Taiwan Kai Ping Culinary School Hong Yen & Po-Wei Ho. Runner up Australia Capital Territory Daramalan College with a brother & sister team Mitch & Jess Abrahams. The Champion team Tahiti Lycée Hotelier de Tahiti Tehaurii Papaura & Alann Poilvet was well deserved. Bobby Manuaiterai – Nanua & Marven Saliga from Jean XXlll in New Caledonia were awarded an encouragement prize & the Chef Paul Award was presented to Noumea Lycée Professional Commercial et Hotelier Auguste Escoffier Fiorina Logona & Chloe Deschamps.

Western Australian apprentices cleaned up at the awards night taking out top honour’s in all 4 categories Culinary Student, 2nd Year Apprentice Chef, 3rd/4th Year Apprentice Chef & 1st Year Apprentice Chef taking home trophies & prizes valued at $1000 including a stick blender from Robot coupe & Knives from Furi & autographed cook books from Australian Chefs. First time competitor Nicola Warren from South Australia prepared the best omelette on the day. 1st Year Apprentice Kok Wei Lee from Crown Perth was named Champion Apprentice of the Year taking home a R211 Ultra sponsored by Robot Coupe

The National Apprentice Competition is a culmination of many apprentice competitions being held throughout the year in each state and territory and includes training chefs in each year of apprenticeship and a culinary students section. The best apprentice from each apprentice year and culinary student section from each state and territory are brought together to compete and decide the overall winners. The numbers of competitors, training schools, culinary educators that the NAC touches is staggering, with in excess of 4,000 culinary students and teachers, each with links to industry resulting in exposure to over 10,000 chefs throughout Australia.