Australian Culinary Challenge

Culinary Challenge 2022 will be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre as part of Fine Food Australia from September 5-8 2022 inclusive. Chefs, trainees and apprentices will have the opportunity to pit their skills against each other and against the clock, competing for a share of the cash and prizes.

Chefs of the highest caliber and skill level are invited to showcase their talents in front of the Fine Food audience and will be judged by a panel of registered ACF Judges.
This year the extensive competition program will include the National Apprentice Competition ACF Most Outstanding Chef, Yum Cha Challenge, Tabasco team Challenge Nestle Golden Chefs Hat & an extended list of Live individual events
Included in the competition arena will be a demonstration stage, the Chef lounge has prime viewing position for all areas & we welcome chefs & sponsors to pop in for bite, a beverage & a chat.

All competitors for all competitions are required to register for the show at the Fine foods website to enable your entry to the show & the competition arena. Registration is free online. If you do not register you will have to pay to enter the show & may be delayed getting in due to long lines & miss your competition start time  Register

Lakanto Most Outstanding Pastry Chef & Pastry Apprentice/Trainee

ACF is pleased to announce the continued sponsorship of our Pastry competitions in 2022 from Lakanto. With cash/prizes of $1000 & $500 respectively this will be a hotly contested category in the Arena. Competitors will have 4 hours to complete 3 tasks live on Monday & Tuesday Afternoon
Lakanto is offering all entrants free samples to practice with (worth over $100)
For More information on Lakanto & to request samples Click Here>>
Information is on Page 5 of Culinary Challenge Criteria.

Competition Sponsors

Restaurant Challenge 2022

The 2022 ACF Restaurant Challenge will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney as part of Foodservice Australia 23rd - 25th October 2022. Teams will have the opportunity to pit their skills against each other and against the clock, competing for a share of the cash and prizes.

A total of nine teams will compete over the 3 days, The teams will prepare, cook and serve a two course menu for 44 guests and judges. Kitchen teams will consist of a team manager and three qualified chefs. International, regional and military teams are invited to take part.  

Teams will be paid $1500 to assist with travel and accommodation. The winning team will be awarded cash and prizes. 

To register your interest in this competition please email with your Team Name & your Food Philosophy, the ACF Culinary Committee will review the applications & the 9 successful teams will be notified by the 19th September, Team information forms to be submitted by 30th September; Menus & Recipes by 10th October

Competition Sponsors

National Apprentice Competition

Sponsored By Tabasco

The NAC is a culmination of many apprentice competitions being held throughout the year in each state and territory and includes training chefs in each year of apprenticeship and a culinary students section. The best apprentice from each apprentice year and culinary student section from each state and territory are brought together to compete and decide the overall winners. The numbers of competitors, training schools, culinary educators that the NAC touches is staggering with in excess of 4,000 culinary students and teachers, each with links to industry resulting in exposure to over 10,000 chefs throughout Australia. State selection for the top 4 apprentice/student, one from each category will commence May contact your Region Chairman of Judges for details of the competition in your State. All regional finals are to be completed by 31st July. The 2022 National Final will be held 7th & 8th September in the Culinary Challenge Arena at Fine Foods, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Secondary Schools Culinary Competitions

In 2022 the ACF will be running Secondary School Culinary Competitions in all Regions for the first time. This competition is designed to establish and develop links between school and industry in an effort to encourage more students to enter the commercial cookery industry.​​ The Senior Secondary Schools Culinary Competition is for year 11 and 12 students studying Home Economics or Hospitality at high school. The winners of the National Final will win a Tour to Thailand studying at Wnadee Culinary Technical College

Nestlé Golden Chefs Hat Award

Is dedicated to helping junior and apprentice chefs develop their cooking skills and broaden their culinary horizons. It’s the longest-running culinary competition in Australia that offers young chefs the chance to really find out where they are as a chef, by pitting themselves against their peers and benchmarking their cooking skills. Taking part in the Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF’S HAT AWARD provides young chefs with the added opportunity of being mentored by culinary instructors and given access to a national network of professional chefs. The Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award exists to support emerging culinary talent by offering the next generation of chefs a platform like no other to experience new opportunities and advance their chef careers. This Award offers apprentice and junior chefs a truly unique opportunity to showcase their skills in live cook-offs judged to globally recognised standards.