Young Rotorua Chef Earns Finalist Spot

Olive Ona aged 23 has impressed judges with her menu to win a silver medal, securing a trip to Melbourne where she will represent the North Island in the grand finals of the 2022 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Olive from Rotorua successfully created a two-course menu comprising a main of a succulent pork medallion, BUITONI tomato pork ragout, gnocchi and sauteed silver beet. Dessert was choux pastry with NESCAFÉ coffee bavarois, a ganache garnish and nutty crumble.

The judging panel rated each dish to globally recognised culinary standards, awarding Olive an overall silver medal.

“The dishes of our 2022 line-up of chefs have their cooking rated by world-class judges. Whilst this can be challenging, being judged to globally recognised standards are the best way for young chefs to challenge themselves to create magic on a plate. Olive really delivered on the day with a considered and well executed menu,” expressed Karlie Durrant, Communications & Sustainability Manager at Nestlé Professional.

“The Award is so much more than a competition. We’re thrilled to be back to chef-to-chef cook-offs all the way from regionals to the grand final for 2022. It will allow all competing chefs to make connections with their peers, network with key people in the industry and broaden their culinary horizons."

In addition to the ultimate Golden Chef of the Year $10K cash prize, two new $2.5K culinary tuition cash prizes for Best Savoury Dish and Best Dessert Dish have been created. These prizes will recoginse the individual skill of the young chefs and contribute towards completion of their culinary tuition fees.

Read about South Island finalist, Gabby Sanders, here.

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