A current WelTec student has been named as one of the best young chefs in the world after he placed at the Young Chef Olympiad 2020 competition held in India earlier this month.
Dominic Muollo-Gray, who has almost completed his New Zealand Certificate in Cookery programme at WelTec, represented New Zealand at the annual event and was placed 11th out of 55 competitors.
The Young Chef Olympiad event was launched in 2015 and is now the world’s biggest young chef culinary competition. This year the theme was sustainability in hospitality, recognising the role of young culinary talent in leading the sustainability revolution. The contest spanned five cities in India over six days: Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Goa.
As well as being placed in the top 20, Dominic also won the Plate Final and the Best Prepared Recipe Costings. For the Plate round, Dominic had to produce four portions each of a vegetarian starter and a prawn main within just two hours. WelTec chef tutor Frank Prskawetz, who coached and accompanied Dominic to the event, said Dominic produced the best dishes and won comfortably.
The best prepared recipe costings round was compulsory to all 55 competitors who had to use a costing programme designed by Michelin-starred chef John Wood, who was also a senior judge.
Dominic was also a finalist in the Sustainability Awards for which he prepared a power point presentation explaining the steps WelTec takes to be more sustainable.
“According to judges I spoke to, Dominic just missed out on the grand final. He did a fantastic job in very challenging conditions with very long hours, heat and lot of travel,” Frank said.
“The breadth of his awards demonstrates what a great chef he is – he can not only make it look beautiful, but he showed strength on the business side too. We’re delighted he did so well.”
WelTec has a long history in competing at regional, national and international levels and its Professional Cookery programmes are recognised internationally as a benchmark for quality entry level chef training.