Budding chefs Michael Frenkiel and Ryan Grant have both been declared Cook For Your Career competition winners, following a nail-biting public cook-off where the judges determined that the Grand Finalists produced such outstanding dishes that both were declared the winners.
Michael gains an apprenticeship at Melbourne’s Coda restaurant, under the mentorship of head chef, Adam D’Slyva, while Ryan will gain a coveted apprenticeship at Brisbane’s ARIArestaurant, under head chef, Ben Russell.
Launched by hospitality superannuation fund HOSTPLUS as a way to raise awareness of the national skills shortage in the restaurant industry, Cook For Your Career offers one talented cook a full training apprenticeship in a top Australian restaurant in their home state.
“Both demonstrated strong culinary skills, knowledge of ingredients and outstanding presentation. It was clear the Grand Finalists demonstrated such incredible talent that both were declared winners,” said guest judge Shane Delia of MaHa.
“Cooking has been my passion for as long as I can remember, and winning Cook For Your Career will mean I can start my career at an awesome restaurant like Coda. It was really tough being put to the test in front of an audience and judges, but now I can look forward to working with Adam and giving it 150 per cent,” said Michael.
Michael faced off against Ryan, drawing upon all his skills and knowledge after they were both asked to prepare an entrée and dessert to wow judges, including Shane Delia who designed the competition recipes. C4YC Mentor Chefs Adam D’Slyva (Coda) and Ben Russell (ARIA) were also on hand to lend support at the cook-off held at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne last night.
“Michael stood out because of his enthusiasm for food and his readiness to dedicate himself to an apprenticeship with Coda. He is driven, committed to the industry, and most importantly, eager to learn – invaluable qualities in this industry,” explained D’Sylva.
While Russell explained that “despite his young age, Ryan is a mature individual who has shown a serious commitment and drive to becoming a chef. He is eager to learn and possesses the right qualities to excel in this industry.
Cook For Your Career was established as a way to address the skills shortage in the restaurant industry, develop new talent and meet the growing demand for skilled committed apprentices. Throughout the competition entrants had the opportunity to network with some of the country’s best chefs and also had the option to go on a national employment database for the restaurant industry, linking employers with potential employees.
For more information visit: www.cookforyourcareer.com.au