See their final winning dishes and the incredible results!

This year saw an outstanding level of talent make to the grand finals, with female chefs dominating in the finalist line-up and an un-precented five gold medals awarded



kimberly tang


Kimberly Tang, Victoria


This seasoned competitor wowed the judges with her technical skills. Kimberly produced a fantastic menu that took traditional ideas and modernised them, executed to a level not seen for a long time.

“I love the thrill of this competition and it’s true that if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! Never give up because anything is possible, it’s what you make of every opportunity that counts. My experiences in Golden Chefs have taught me a lot, helping me improve my skills, organisation and knowledge in a short and intense timeframe.”

“I really went all out to stay true to myself this year, drawing on traditional concepts from my heritage and then taking them to a new place with interesting technical applications.”


kimberly tang dishes


The Australian Culinary Federation judging panel scored against globally recognised culinary standards to award Kimberly a gold medal for her three-course menu, comprising:

Entrée – Mushroom Ravioli – Onion and horseradish jelly, mushroom and black garlic parcel, asparagus, pickled foraged mushrooms, yuzu gel, black garlic tuile, and ponzu emulsion.

Main – Hainanese Chicken – Hainanese style chicken with black garlic emulsion, mushroom pearl barley, crispy chicken skin, negi oil, baby onions, shitake, and smoked charcoal pepper dust.

Dessert – Peaches & Strawberries Cream Zen Garden – Mascarpone Cremeux, black garlic and chocolate soil, matcha sponge, mushroom meringue, coconut lotus cookie, umeboshi compressed white peaches, strawberries, grapes, and yuzu gel.



Sarah jones


Sarah Jones

Gold Medal Winner & Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Product Award Winner


No stranger to the culinary competition circuit, Sarah has competed in 15 competitions since she started her apprenticeship at TAFE Regency Park back in 2017. This was her fourth time to qualify as a grand finalist in the award.

“I gave it my all this year and am proud with the gold medal win, especially as it was a year of very high calibre chefs in the finals. Now I’m focused on honing my skills even more and coming back next year to take the big win.”

Entrée – Jerusalem artichoke tart with mushroom, parmesan, king oyster mushroom ‘scallop, and sugar snap peas.

Main – Chicken, pumpkin, chicken mousseline, zucchini, potato, carrot, shallot, and black garlic sauce.

Dessert – Honey and Geraldton wax tuile with coconut, pineapple and melaleuca, mango, orange, and lemon thyme.


sarah jones dishes


Sarah also won Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Product Award, landing herself over $1,000AUD in prizes thanks to SOLIDTEKNICS and Best Restaurants Australia.



NSW winner


Jeremy Lackenby

Gold Medal Winner & Most Sustainable Approach Award Winner


This was the second time Jeremy stepped up to compete in the award and this year was his first time as a grand finalist representing NSW Metro.

“What I loved about the competition was we had to showcase produce from our region by using local and artisanal producers. Within my dishes I tried to bring as much earthy texture and colour to the table, using unusual ingredients. I’m super stoked about my result bringing back a gold medal and winning the Most Sustainable Award. I’m very lucky to be a part of this culinary competition with the amount of support and feedback I’m getting along the way. It has allowed me to push myself to the limit and fingers crossed if I’m eligible next year I can step it up and get the Golden Chef of the Year title.”


Entrée – Kombu Chawanmushi, sea herbs, edamame, and yuzu ponzu.

Main – Chicken, black garlic, mushroom, Avondale organics seasonal vegetables, and puffed multigrain.

Dessert – Great Southern Mead and honey, pines yoghurt, pear, and oats.


nsw dishes


Jeremy also won the Most Sustainable Approach Award, landing himself over $1,000AUD in prizes thanks to SOLIDTEKNICS and Best Restaurants Australia.



WA winner


Abbey Formentin

Gold Medal Winner


This was Abbey’s first time to qualify as a grand finalist in the award and she was determined to give it her all.

“I’m stoked to have landed a gold medal as a first-time finalist in this highly regarded culinary competition. I’m really happy with how far my skills have developed and to have showcased my creativity against an amazing bunch of chefs. I’ll be back to put myself to the test next year for sure.”

Entrée – Mushroom tortellini with mushroom espugma, baby shitake, asparagus tops, macadamia crumb and brown butter, with chive flowers.

Main – Roast chicken breast with black garlic duxelles, charred cauliflower puree, potato crisp, black garlic chicken jus, confit chicken ball, sugar snap peas, cauliflower two ways, and green oil.

Dessert – Pineapple wedge with torched meringue, passionfruit curd, tropical gel, coconut sponge, raspberries, raspberry tuile, and micro garnish.


WA dishes




QLD metro winner

Amber Heaton

Gold Medal Winner


Amber has previous accolades to her name. She won Les Toques Blanches (2019), Proud to be a Chef (2020) and Chaine des Rotisseurs (2020). This was her third time as a competitor in Golden Chef’s and her first time to qualify as a finalist.

“Leaning into my Italian heritage is really important to me. I literally raided my Nonna’s garden for some incredible menu ingredients! This was my first time as a finalist and I’m really proud of my result. It really took me out of my comfort zone and was definitely the hardest competition I’ve ever done. It’s made me grow as a person and as a chef. I can’t wait to come back next year stronger and better.”

Entrée – Queensland heirloom carrots, mushroom glaze, homemade Maleny dairy ricotta, black garlic aioli, cauliflower, Nonna’s macadamias, and parmesan.

Main – Mount Cotton chicken, ballotine, croquette, mushroom duxelles, salsa verde, silverbeet, pomme puree, and red wine jus.

Dessert – Family farm mangos, cremeux, fresh salsa, black garlic, coconut and shortcrust pastry.


QLD metro dishes