Recognising the best chefs in Australia

Caption: Finalists and judges celebrate a big win by chef Konstantin Putkin from Tasmania. The competition returns to Sydney this year from 19-21 May.

Media release: 18 March 2024

Recognising the best chefs in Australia

Chefs are the heroes of the hospitality industry, but often their skills are hidden in the kitchens of our cafés and restaurants. That is set to change with the two most prestigious professional chef competitions coming up this May in Sydney.

The first is the Australian Professional Chef of the Year. Running for over a decade this event now attracts the very best competitors from around the country. It is an individual event where competitors are given one hour and a black of ingredients.

Competition Director Peter Wright says “chefs are competing each other and the clock. They need to present their two best dishes to our very experienced judges. If they are good enough they will work their way through to the Grand Final. You have to be calm, controlled and talented.”

The competition is not only prestigious but also lucrative for the winner with over $25,000 in cash and prizes. But Wright says every competitor walks away with an amazing experience. He says “it is a unique opportunity to grow your profile, network and skills”.

The competition runs as part of the mighty Foodservice Australia exhibition and is supported by industry suppliers Unox Ovens, Anchor Food Professionals, Bidfood, Bone Roasters, Oil2U, Alsco Uniforms, Love Buds and Glad to be Green.

The second chef competition running in Sydney is for kitchen teams. It is called the ACF Restaurant Challenge and it will see teams of four come together to run a pop-up restaurant. They need to serve a two-course meal to 50 guests and four industry judges.

President of the Australian Culinary Federation Karen Doyle says “this is a great event for any restaurant team that want to show off their skills and meet other chefs. It is a great way to pull everyone together and celebrate their skills”.

Doyle invites entries from any café, restaurant or venue. She says “it is not just for fine dining establishments. This is about working together and being able to deliver 50 quality meals under pressure. I would love to see teams from every part of the industry involved”.

Both competitions will be running alongside Foodservice Australia which is the annual trade show for the hospitality industry. There will be over 400 exhibitors showing the latest food, drink and equipment as well as free workshops and stages.

Visitors to the tradeshow will be able to watch and cheer on their favourite chefs. Entry is free but strictly trade only. You must be 16 and work in a food or hospitality business. General public and children are not admitted.

More information and entry forms:

Chef of the Year
ACF Restaurant Challenge
Tickets to Foodservice Australia