Young St Albans chef propelled into the limelight

St Albans chef Joosje Bouman. Photo: Supplied
St Albans chef Joosje Bouman. Photo: Supplied
Pan fried Murray cod helped Joosje Bouman stand out in a prestigious chef competition in Sydney.

The 22-year-old St Albans resident was awarded three bronze medals, one for each of her courses, at the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award competition.

It was her first time competing at the grand finals.

Bouman won the South Island regional heat of the competition earlier this year. 

She decided to enter the competition because of the opportunity it presented to further her skills and connect with other young chefs.

Bouman, who works as a sous chef at Kaisar Brew Garden, impressed the judges with the execution and delivery of her three-course menu to earn the haul of bronze medals.

She was up against 11 other young top chefs from across Australia and New Zealand who were all vying to be crowned Golden Chef of the Year.

Along with the other competitors, she had to develop and perfect a three course menu in the lead up to the live cook off.

Bouman’s menu was a ravioli entrée with a homemade ricotta and spinach mix on a tomato base sauce, served with a shaved asparagus salad.

One of Joosje Bouman’s courses that helped her take three bronze medals – pan fried Murray cod....
One of Joosje Bouman’s courses that helped her take three bronze medals – pan fried Murray cod. Photo: Supplied
Her main was pan-fried Murray cod, served with a beurre blanc, gremolata, pickled mushroom, and crispy potatoes.

For dessert, she created a frangipane, caramelised pear, caramel sauce, macadamia, and oat crumb served with a tuille.

Chef judge Darren Wright said being part of the Golden Chef’s Hat competition gives the next generation of chefs like Bouman the opportunity to put themselves to the test, improve their cooking skills and connect with like-minded chefs as well as the broader industry.

“Joosje delivered some stand out dishes on the day while under immense pressure. Just to make it this far and then to win medals is a tremendous achievement that she should be hugely proud of,” he said.

The overall winner of the event was Melbourne chef Jimmy Han.