From Auckland to Queenstown, eight great young chefs will feel the heat of the competition kitchen when they battle it out to win the coveted title of ServiceIQ Champion Apprentice Chef of the Year at the NZ Hospitality Championships in Auckland on Sunday 30 July.

The title winner will travel to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival in 2018, a prize worth around $3,000, while all finalists will receive a prize pack from and become members of the NZ Chefs’ Association.

Being a top chef has become one of the most sought-after professions in the hospitality industry, and many top restaurants discover and develop the skills and craft of the best young people through a ServiceIQ Cookery Apprenticeship.

ServiceIQ chief executive Dean Minchington said the award recognises the outstanding achievement of aspiring chefs “who learn and earn in a real, commercial kitchen with all the demands and pressures for high standards that that fast-paced environment brings”.

“More and more young people are gaining the vital skills on-job with an apprenticeship and this can help alleviate New Zealand’s shortage of professional chefs by growing the talent pool.”

All finalists are crafting careers with ServiceIQ’s New Zealand Cookery Apprenticeship programme.

The ServiceIQ Champion Apprentice Chef 2017 competition will be held at the NZ Hospitality Championships on Sunday 30 July at the Logan Campbell Centre, ASB Showgrounds, Auckland.