Gold medal glory has been achieved by young talented chef Jimmy Han, 22, who has been revealed as the 2023 Golden Chef of the Year in Australia’s longest running and most credible competition for young chefs.
Achieving triple gold medals in the fiercely contested 2023 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award Chef Han, a Commercial Cookery student at William Angliss Institute, is thrilled to have tasted success in the ultimate food industry culinary competition.
Not only was he the only chef to achieve triple golds for his menu creations, but in a first for the competition, Chef Han also took out the Best Savoury and Best Dessert Awards.
Having come to Australia less than a year ago with nothing but huge ambition and determination to be the best chef he can possibly be, Chef Han has proven that anything is possible.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work as an apprentice at a two Michelin starred restaurant in Taiwan. This made me realise I wanted to elevate my skills set as a chef. The dining culture in Melbourne is so diverse, which I love. Going into the grand finals of Golden Chefs I felt excited to take my cooking to the next level and I was confident in my approach. I can’t wait to see where this journey will take me next in terms of my culinary career.”
The judges praised Chef Han for creating an unforgettable dining experience across his menu, with impeccable flavour balance, faultless technique, and strong storytelling.
Delivering a rare standout triple gold winning menu, his menu reflected the changing seasons and incorporated a sustainability thread in every dish.
Entrée – ‘Green in Spring’. Torched corn salad with nashi pear, baby spinach and Greek Yoghurt.
Main – ‘Orange in Autumn’. Murray Cod with chorizo, fennel wakame salad, sweet potato puree and tom yum butter sauce.
Dessert – ‘Winter in White’. Vanilla black pepper bavarois. Sable lemon gel, white chocolate soil with shaved macadamia and raspberry jelly.
Head Judge and Nestlé Professional Commercial Development Chef, Elke Travers says, “It takes a lot of courage for young chefs to step up and be critiqued at such a high level. All the finalists this year have been truly impressive, but Jimmy’s dish execution went above and beyond. This win is definitely going to launch his career to new heights, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes in the future.”
Chef Han has been awarded with a two-week European culinary experience, valued at $10,000, to travel with the Australian Culinary Olympics Junior Team to the IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany next February. This unique trip will also include a bespoke culinary work experience in Europe. In addition, Chef Han has received a custom set of beautifully crafted KOI Knives to enhance his kitchen tool equipment.
Chef Han also landed two $2,500 tuition packages for delivering the Best Savoury Dish Award and the Best Dessert Dish Award to further propel his culinary career.
This is definitely a chef to watch!
Chef Sarah Jones, a three-time competitor in Golden Chefs, was awarded the Most Sustainable Approach Award for her absolute commitment to sourcing local produce and chef Ashleigh Handsaker was awarded the Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Product Award for being daring enough to integrate coffee beans into a broth as part of her entrée salad dish.
Each chef has landed themselves over $1,000AUD in kitchen equipment thanks to event sponsors SOLIDTEKNICS.
The chefs are judged by expert judges from the Australian Culinary Federation, NZChefs and Nestlé Professional who assess professional practices, presentation and the all-important taste factor, all to globally recognised standards.
As Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs, the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award is now in its 58th year, supporting top emerging culinary talent to challenge themselves and kick start their careers.