Awards prove young chefs have passed the taste test

TOP TASTES: Sullivan Smith and Hayden Davis won bronze medals at the Nestle awards.
TOP TASTES: Sullivan Smith and Hayden Davis won bronze medals at the Nestle awards. Contributed

COOKING skills demonstrated by two budding Coffs Harbour chefs have given them a taste of success.

Demi-chef Hayden Davis and commi-chef Sullivan Smith work together at Twenty 46 Coffee House on the Jetty food strip.

They collected bronze medals at the 2017 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Awards at the TAFE NSW Tamworth campus as one of 10 regional teams competing in the state final.

Hayden and Sullivan created a two-course menu of pistachio crusted lamb tenderloin with a saffron mash and red wine jus for their main course.

Dessert was a vanilla orange and coffee parfait with praline and orange puree set on white chocolate.

Hayden, 22, entered for the second straight year to see how he would stack up against other young chefs.

"It's a great opportunity to increase my culinary skills and network with other young chefs out there," he said.

"The bronze medal was a real adrenalin rush.

"I was inspired by my mum, Sharon, to enter the trade.

"She is a great cook and always made us happy, so after eight years of working towards this goal, it's something I am really pleased about."

Executive Chef at Nestlé Professional, Mark Clayton, believes the Coffs Coast's reputation for creating fine food is in good hands as young chefs like Hayden and Sullivan emerge.

"Competing is vital to the professional development of young chefs and you learn so much from this type of experience" he said.

"Putting yourself up to be judged on your culinary talent is tough but this is ultimately how you hone your skills, build your networks and get your name out there."

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