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KOTO Trainees: Taste of Australia Culinary Competition winners

KOTO trainees Nguyen Hong Quan from class of K27 and Nguyen Phuong Dieu K25 from KOTO Hanoi Team have taken out the inaugural 2017 Taste of Australia Culinary Competition, winning the major prize of a week-long trip to Sydney—including all flights, accommodation, transport and meals—to the William Blue College of Hospitality Management.

Nguyen Hong Quan K27 and Nguyen Phuong Dieu K25 – Winner of Taste of Australia 2017

Vietnamese hospitality schools who participated nominated a one or two person team, with competitors coming from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Danang and including KOTO Hanoi and KOTO Saigon. Participants had to have been in the final year of their qualification or a recent graduate, and with reasonable English.

The purpose of the competition was to promote Australian cuisine and produce while developing the educational opportunities of Vietnamese culinary students.

Tran Dinh Tien K27 and Le Thi Xuan K27, one of two KOTO Hanoi Teams

The competition followed the Masterchef model, with teams competing over two knockout rounds in a single day, both for the heats and the final. The first heats were held on 18 April and took place simultaneously in 3-4 cities, with the final round happening on 20 April. In the first heats, competitors cooked from a mystery box that included vegemite, Cooper’s stout and Australian beef.

KOTO Saigon was represented by Hien and Tam, and made it through to the last round, before being pipped at the post by KOTO Hanoi in the final round at the InterContinental Hotel in Danang.

Tran Thi Hien K26 and Pham Thi Minh Tam K8 – KOTO Sai Gon Team

The judging panel consisted of celebrity chefs, Luke Nguyen, Ngo Thanh Hoan, Madame Anh Tuyet, Bao La and Sid Choi. Criteria for judging included taste and seasoning, preparation and innovation, creativity, kitchen skills and personal presentation.

All participants received a Taste of Australia apron and chef’s shirt. As well as the trip to Sydney, Quan and Dieu will be offered sponsorship opportunities if they wished to pursue further study in Australia.

Congratulations to our six KOTO trainees who competed in the competition, and the KOTO staff who supported them.

You have done us proud!

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