Wangi chef Tahi Ngaronoa wins silver at the 2017 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Awards

RISING STAR: Tahi Ngaronoa, 20, of Wangi Wangi, right, and his teammate Damien Atkins were awarded the silver medal in the NSW final of the 2017 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Awards. Picture: Supplied

RISING STAR: Tahi Ngaronoa, 20, of Wangi Wangi, right, and his teammate Damien Atkins were awarded the silver medal in the NSW final of the 2017 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Awards. Picture: Supplied

A Wangi Wangi chef has had his cooking skills recognised with a silver medal at the 2017 Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Awards.

Tahi Ngaronoa, 20, an apprentice chef at The Star, Sydney, went hat to hat at TAFE NSW (Ryde Campus) in what is Australia’s longest running culinary competition for young chefs.

In 11 heats across the country, the NSW cook-off saw 15 teams step up to the plate, going all out to deliver their best dishes to be judged against nationally recognised culinary standards.

Tahi (and teammate Damien Atkins) created a two-course menu of seared loin of lamb encased with pistachio with potato mash, zucchini rolls, glazed carrots, green bean puree and crispy potato served with a veal, lamb and red wine sauce for their main, and a citrus meringue tart with chocolate ganache, lemon cream, toasted pistachios and strawberry drops for their dessert course.

The pair's dessert course.

The pair's dessert course.

Tahi said he entered the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award to see how he would stack up against other young chefs.

“I thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself, showcase my ability, and meet new friends in the industry,” he said.

I thought it was a great opportunity to challenge myself, showcase my ability, and meet new friends in the industry. - - Tahi Ngaronoa

Executive chef at Nestlé Professional, Mark Clayton, said the competition brought out the best in the young chefs.

“Taking part in the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award makes you push yourself to the next level,” he said.

“Competing is vital to the professional development of young chefs. You learn so much from this type of experience. Putting yourself up to be judged on your culinary talent is tough, but this is ultimately how you hone your skills and build your networks.”

The Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award has been running for 52 years.

This year saw more chefs enter across the country than ever before. Finalists are set to go on to become some of the industry’s brightest talents.

The winning team from the NSW heat, Tyler Khor and Davy Dai, have secured themselves an all-expenses-paid trip to the national final in Sydney.

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