Bocuse d'Or Australia

The world’s most elite culinary competition

Australia’s next competitor in the elite Bocuse d’Or world cuisine contest was decided at Foodservice Australia on Sunday 30 April 2023.

Victorian chef Paul Golding, Head Chef at Bunjil Place, has won the Bocuse d’Or Australia’s coveted ‘Golden Knife’ trophy and the opportunity to represent his country in the world’s most prestigious culinary competition.

Held at Foodservice Australia in Melbourne on Sunday 30 April, the competition saw Golding, Head Chef at Bunjil Place, and his Commis Chef Chris Milligan from Maha, compete against three other Finalists and their assisting Commis Chefs.

Chef Amber Heaton and Commis Chef Abbey Kuhnell from The Star Gold Coast won the Silver Knife, while Chef Trevor Jenkins from Holmesglen Institute and his Commis Bethany Harman from Vue de Monde took home Bronze, as did Chef Tommy Prosser from Hospitality Works and Commis Isabel Macdonald from TAFE NSW Ryde.

Abbey Kuhnell from The Star Gold Coast was named ‘Best Commis’ of the competition, an award that recognises young talent and the potential to continue competing at an elite level.

The elite contest was judged by a stellar lineup of 14 chefs led by Bocuse d’Or Australia President Tom Milligan and Honorary Life President Philippe Mouchel, and was compèred by Scott Pickett and Donna Demaio. 

This is the second time Paul has competed at the Bocuse d’Or Australia, in 2022 he placed second to Alex McIntosh, who went on to compete at the Grand Final in Lyon in January. Meanwhile, Commis Chef Chris Milligan was inspired to compete following in the footsteps of his father, President Tom Milligan, who represented Australia in Lyon in 1995.

As well as the Golden Knife trophy, Paul has won a trip to compete in the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific next year, a Robot Cook professional cooker cutter blender from Robot Coupe, and a knife roll with tools from Chef’s Hat.

The 2023 Finalists:


Clockwise from top left:

Kitchen 1

Paul Golding – Head Chef, Bunjil Place, Melbourne

Assisted by Chris Milligan – Chef, Maha, Melbourne 


Kitchen 2

Amber Heaton – Demi Chef, The Star Gold Coast

Assisted by Abbey Kuhnell, Apprentice Chef, The Star Gold Coast


Kitchen 3

Trevor Jenkins – Culinary Trainer, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Melbourne

Assisted by Bethany Harman – Apprentice Chef, Vue de Monde, Melbourne


Kitchen 4

Tommy Prosser – Chef Director, Hospitality Works, Sydney

Assisted by Isabel Macdonald ­– Apprentice Chef, TAFE NSW Ryde.

Judges Bocuse d’Or Australia 2023

VIP Judges


Tom Milligan

Executive Chef, The Australian Club

President, Bocuse d’Or Australia, Bocuse d’Or Chef 1995


Philippe Mouchel

Chef Owner, Restaurant Philippe

Honorary Life President, Bocuse d’Or Australia


Kitchen Jury


Dan Arnold

Chef Owner, Restaurant Dan Arnold

Coach Bocuse d’Or 2023, Bocuse d’Or Chef 2017


Andrew Ballard

Chef Owner, Simmer Culinary

Bocuse d’Or NZ Chef 2019-21


Dale Lyman

Chef Instructor William Angliss Institute



Laura Skvor

Chef Entrepreneur, Heirloom Provisions

Commis Chef Bocuse d’Or 2019


Bernd Uber

Chef Educator



Vegetarian Jury


Michael Cole

Chef Owner, MOKE Dining

Bocuse d’Or Chef 2019


Karen Doyle

Program Manager, Le Cordon Bleu Australia

ACF National President


Deepak Mishra

Director of Culinary Operations, Pan Pacific Melbourne

Vice President, Bocuse d’Or Australia


Josh Pelham

Executive Chef, Crown Resorts Flemington

Bocuse d’Or Chef 2020


Meat Jury


Alex McIntosh

Executive Chef, Sou’West Brewery

Bocuse d’Or Chef 2023


Stephen Nairn

Executive Chef, Omnia, Yugen


Sascha Randle

Production Manager, Meatsmith


Andrew Smaniotto

General Manager Food & Beverage, Geelong Cats Football Club

2023 MCs

Clockwise from top left:

Scott Pickett, Bocuse d’Or Australia Jury Member and former Team Coach, owns nine venues plus a catering venture under the Scott Pickett Group banner.

Donna Demaio is a freelance journalist who has covered Melbourne’s entertainment, arts, food, film, travel, fashion and general news for the past 30 years in print, radio and TV.