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Aspiring chefs cook-off to kick-start career

Thirty aspiring chefs will compete in a cook-off at Victoria University's new training kitchens for the chance to impress representatives from some of Melbourne's top restaurants and receive an apprenticeship.

The 'Culinary Cook-Off' will give the teenaged hopefuls 90 minutes to recreate a chicken dish demonstrated by a professional chef, using a recipe they receive on the day. The competition will be judged by VU TAFE hospitality heads Gary Paterson and James Ballingall, both professional chefs and nationally accredited judges with the Australian Culinary Federation, and executive chefs from renowned Melbourne hotels and restaurants.    

The winner will be offered a three-year apprenticeship by one of about a dozen apprentice-seeking establishments. He or she will also get the opportunity to work an evening in the kitchen of a leading hotel, as well as a night's stay in a boutique inner-city hotel. Other contestants may also be offered an apprenticeship even if they do not win.

The contestants are from secondary schools mainly in Melbourne's west, and are undertaking vocational training in the hospitality industry as an alternative to VCE. Each will receive a chef pack, including a chef's jacket, apron and kit for taking part in the contest to help get them started in the profession.

Students receiving an apprenticeship offer will do their training at VU's School of Hospitality, and their work experience at the establishment offering the apprenticeship.

The Culinary Cook-Off is organised in partnership with WPC Group Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

The media are welcome to attend.

When: Thursday 28 October

Where: VenU Training Restaurant, Footscray Nicholson Campus, Bldg D (Hoadley Bldg), Corner of Pilgrim and Albert Streets, Footscray (Melway 2S E11)

Time: Judging will take place from about 11.30am with the winner announced soon after

Gary Paterson, Hospitality Program Manager
School of  Hospitality, Faculty of Technical and Trades Innovation
Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 8642 or mobile: 0418 136 237

Media Contact:
nn Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919-5487 or mobile: 0403 556 001

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