AUT University student Jonny Bell is Proud to be a Chef, in more ways than one, and in one month's time he will prove it again.
Bell, who is studying a Diploma in Culinary Arts in AUT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism, won the opportunity to cook in Melbourne in February this year, thanks to his delicious dish in the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef competition.
The competition was held at AUT last November.
The dish, a loin of lamb with a beetroot spelt risotto, feta marshmallow cone, pickled beets, fennel and horseradish, saw Bell place second.
The top four from the competition will travel to Melbourne in February for the 2013 Fonterra Proud to be a Chef final. This will see the finalists experience fine dining in Melbourne's top restaurants, learn from some of the best chefs in the business, work with a food photographer to bring an original recipe to life and participate in culinary master classes.
In the final test, the four New Zealand representatives and 28 of their Australian peers will whisk, dice, grate and garnish their way to winning the ultimate prize - an international culinary scholarship tailored to their aspirations as a chef, valued at $7,500.
Bell entered the competition for the challenge.
“As a junior chef you don’t often get the chance to create dishes of your own that you can share with the public. Through a competition like this it gave me the opportunity to express myself as a cook. It was also the chance to learn so much in Melbourne that spurred me to enter.”
The most nerve-wracking part of the experience for Bell was waiting for the results, but he puts his success down to his efforts in the kitchen, and plenty practice.
AUT’s senior lecturer in culinary arts John Kelleher says Jonny attention to detail and innovation was a major contributor to the success of his dish but he will need an all-round performance to take out the Australasian title.