22 Dec 2016
The Australian hospitality industry, built on sunshine, unique flavours and the freshest of local produce, is one that never rests, never slows. It is estimated that the nation as a whole will need an extra 123,000 staff by 2020. A number that can be met, by training some of the finest young professionals the industry has ever seen.
Apprentice Chef of The Year
Apprentice Chef of the Year is TAFE Queensland Brisbane’s way of celebrating the new industry entrants who will be keeping the industry thriving in years to come.
Apprentices were shortlisted and finalists were chosen to compete in the mystery box competition judged by a panel of industry experts. On the competition day, finalists received a ‘mystery box’ of ingredients that was used to produce an entrée and a main course. These were judged on presentation, creativity, taste and technique. In total, 14 students were successful in receiving awards from the fields of bakery, patisserie, and cookery.
We were delighted to recognise all of the winners, including our Apprentice of the Year Gold Prize Winner, Meg Thompson. This future industry titan sees good food as a labour of love and believes you can never learn too much about technique or flavour. It is her hope to seek new challenges that will allow her to explore the limits of simple ingredients and bold flavours.
Thanks to our sponsors Japan Powder, Aqua Alpine Resort and Executive Chef, Meg was awarded some spectacular prizes and opportunities. Meg is the winner of a once-in-a-lifetime experience of a six-week placement in the Japan Ski fields at Aqua Alpine resort as well as receiving a Premium F-Dick Knife set.
The Australian Hospitality Industry
What sort of industry are Meg and her peers entering into? We’ve broken down the core stats.
- The combined revenue for restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, fast food, and pubs comes to $55.3 billion (according to IBISWorld)
- Across all these types of eateries, there are well over 71,000 businesses across the country
What does this mean?
Between the revenue and the number of businesses, there is plenty of room for the 123,000 people we need in the coming years, especially when you consider that all these little sectors are expected to keep on growing.
What About Queensland?
For the next generation of chefs and bakers, there is no challenge too great or trend too far for them to tackle. From the tip of the state down to the border, we are growing and evolving, delivering a new level of service and dishes that more than meet international standards.
According to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, the hospitality industry remains one of the key driving forces of the state’s economy. The booming population and industries such as tourism and mining are feeding into increased demand for quality eateries.
What Are The New Trends?
Some of the key trends for new and current chefs to consider include:
Sustainability: food sustainability is going from the laboratories into the kitchen with a focus on decreased waste and ethical sourcing changing how restaurants craft their menus.
Locality: as we’ve discussed before localised ingredients are changing menus across the world. The template for this trend is the New Nordic Food Manifesto and the world class chefs who helped create it.
Health: the Queensland Government is championing the growing demand for healthier foods. Whether it is an acai bowl or quinoa and chia, people are chasing healthier meal options that do not compromise on taste.
While these aren’t the only trends, they are the ones redefining the industry for the better, paving the way for a brighter, healthier future for businesses and customers alike.
Whatever may come in the years ahead, we can rest assured knowing that hospitality in this state, and the country as a whole, is in good hands. We cannot wait to see the new dishes, cuisines, and eateries these new chefs will cook up.
Eager to join Meg in redefining the hospitality industry? TAFE Queensland Brisbane has a range of cookery, patisserie and baking courses for you to choose from.