Konstantin Putkin has been named Australian Professional Chef of the Year 2022, winning the prestigious title as well as $6,000 cash and valuable prizes from major sponsors Unox, Anchor Food Professionals and Oil2U.
As a previous semi-finalist of Chef of the Year 2021, Konstantin was under pressure to perform, and he delivered, winning first his heat, then the semi-final and the grand final.
“Honestly I am truly humbled and amazed that I managed to pull off the win against three of my peers who are so incredibly talented in their own rights,” said Konstantin.
“What’s even more humbling is to have been the first winner based in Tasmania, we have such a rich and diverse landscape of chefs and culinary ideals on our little island, and hopefully, my win can pave the way for more Tasmanian-based chefs to enter the big stage and show the country what they have up their sleeves!”
Head Judge John McFadden said Konstatin had an amazing performance across every round.
“Konstantin lifted throughout each cook-off, maintaining an extremely high level of consistency and techniques across each criteria. Paired with dynamic flavours on the plate it was a winner.
“The benchmark for Chef of the Year has certainly been raised to an extremely high level. It is amazing to see the calibre of chefs entering this competition and the prestige attached to being selected.”
Konstatin’s fellow grand finalists were Dylan Williams Junior Sous at MOKE in Flinders; Richmond Rodrigues Head Chef at Muse Kitchen Hunter Valley in New South Wales and Tom Hitchcock Head Chef at the Spirit House in Queensland.
They each had to cook two dishes from a mystery box of ingredients in one hour, in front of a panel of expert judges and a huge crowd of cheering onlookers.
The Australian Professional Chef of the Year competition is one of the most rewarding in the country, with a total prize pool of $10,000. The winner of each heat receives $500, while the winner of the Grand Final receives $6,000.
Competition Director Peter Wright said the competition was made possible by generous industry supporters, including Gold Sponsors Anchor Food Professionals, Oil2U and Unox Australia, plus silver sponsors Alsco, In2Food, Leeuwin Coast and ICC Sydney.
“This year’s event drew the largest ever audience to the competition at the heart of the show floor at Foodservice Australia,” said Wright.
“Our MCs Glenn Flood and Tawnya Bahr kept the crowd informed and entertained, while the judging panel tirelessly gave their time and expertise to score each heat.”
Led by John McFadden, this year’s judging panel comprised of Claire Van Vuuren, Head Chef & Co-Owner from Bloodwood Newtown, Amanda Fuller, Group Executive Chef from Sam Prince Hospitality Group, Naomi Lowry from Kinsela’s and the Courthouse Hotel, Gary Johnson, National Executive Chef from ALH Hotels, Jamie Gannon, Group Executive Chef from Laudy Hotels and Telina Menzies, Executive Chef from Australian Venue Co.
The next Australian Professional Chef of the Year will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 30th April – 2nd May 2023.