Local chef Maeva Williams showed he could handle the heat at the Aus-TAFE Culinary Trophy regional finals in Echuca last month, finishing with a silver medal.
Held at the Echuca TAFE campus, the event is a nation-wide competition which sees apprentice chefs and Certificate III Commercial Cookery students put their skills to the test against each other.
Mr Williams — a second year apprentice at The Crossing Cafe in Deniliquin — has qualified to compete in the state finals to be held in Lilydale next month.
Judged on the skills and techniques acquired throughout his studies, the 21 year-old received an overall score of 86 per cent.
‘‘For the competition we had to prep and serve an omelette, break down a chicken and make two main dishes from it, and make two entrees from snapper,’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘It’s a real boost in confidence knowing I’ve got the ability.’’
Mr Williams is a Certificate III Commercial Cookery student who studies weekly at the Echuca campus, as well as completing his apprenticeship at the popular George St cafe in Deni.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to be a cook — I enjoy cooking dinner for everyone and I love food,’’ he said.
Crossing Cafe owner Karen Benbow said the award was a reflection of Maeva’s enthusiasm for the trade.
‘‘Maeva is pretty meticulous and he’s always sorting flavours,’’ Mrs Benbow said.
‘‘He’s very passionate, which is what makes him a great cook. We’re very proud of him and wish him all the best for the state competition.’’
Mr Williams will contest the state finals in Lilydale on September 26 in the hope of gaining a spot at the national competition, to be held later this year.