While it was a trio of Australians that took out the main titles at last weekend's Global Chef's competition, a brilliant performance by a Christchurch chef means he'll be joining the winners in Greece next year.
Chefs Matthew Weller, Jenni Key and Chris Malone bet competitors from New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and Guam for the respective Global Chef, Global Pastry Chef and Hans Bueschkens Young Chef titles.
Inside Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre, the chefs were judged during timed competitions with points being awarded for taste and presentation as well as technical skill, ingredient use and punctual service.
In the end, there were just two points separating Kiwi Chef Mark Sycamore and the Australian winner Matthew Weller, so the judges chose to give Mark the ‘Wild Card’ award.
The Executive Chef at Tequila Mockingbird, Latin Bar and Restaurant and Boo Radleys, Food and Liquor, Mark will be travelling with the Australians to Greece in September 2016 to compete against the best in the world at the WACS WorldChefs Congress.
Next year is set to be a particularly busy year for Mark – he's also off to Germany for the Culinary Olympics as part of the NZChefs Fonterra Squad.
Gary Farrell, the Pacific Representative of the WorldChefs Culinary Competition Committee said the standard was incredibly high across all three Global Chefs events.
Gary added that he was looking forward to seeing the Australian and New Zealand competitors cook in Greece.
“New Zealand and Australia bring quite a different style of food to the International WorldChefs Competition,” he said, “as both countries are influenced by such a wide range of cultures”.
The winner of the NZ Chef of the Year, also announced on the weekend, was Himanshu Shaun Tyagi from Chikos Restaurant in Henderson.