Nick Gnafakis won the National Apprentice Cookery Competition in Canberra earlier this month. The Melbourne Polytechnic student won best third-year apprentice in the Victorian state final (Australian TAFE Culinary Trophy), which was hosted by Melbourne Polytechnic in September.
“The competition was a two-hour test of chef skills,” Nick said. “Contestants are given a brief beforehand, then the timer starts ticking.”
Nick had to produce three dishes – a vegetarian entrée, a main using pork scotch fillet, and a dessert using golden syrup.
Nick thanked his Melbourne Polytechnic teachers.
“The teachers were great, especially during the competition process – they were very supportive and helpful.”
He currently works at the prestigious Rockpool Bar & Grill at Crown, “where you always see someone famous walking in, so that’s pretty cool”.
Nick is currently working towards a Certificate III in Patisserie.
“I’ve really loved the patisserie section at work,” he said.
“In five years’ time I want to be somewhere where there’s a lot of paddock to plate, I’m really into it, where you have a garden and then you use it in the restaurant.”