Food & Beverage

Nestlé Golden Chef Crowned

Friday, 27 November, 2020

With a 55 year history, Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF'S HAT AWARD adapted to a new virtual format in 2020.

The Award sourced a top ten line-up of young chef talent from right across Australia and New Zealand to find the 2020 Golden Chef of the Year.

With young chefs needing support more than ever, Nestlé GOLDEN CHEF'S HAT AWARD continued their important contribution to developing the next generation of talented chefs. 

With the top 10 spots filled, the scene was set for the Grand Finals. But as restrictions continued, it simply wasn’t an option to have the finalists compete live together. The solution: simultaneous finals events were held at multiple locations, from Perth to Christchurch, Hobart to Darwin, and everywhere in between. 

The stakes were high, with the finalists pushing themselves across entrée, main and dessert courses. Expert judges were assigned to each finals location to assess professional practices, presentation and the all-important taste factor. 


“All of the chefs represented themselves to an incredible level, they simply went beyond. Right across their menus, they rose to the challenge and were exceptional when it came to flavour, technical expertise and overall creativity,” Mark Clayton Executive Chef Nestlé Professional.

Ultimately three chefs were in play for the Golden Chef of the Year. Gold medals were achieved by Eve Sheraton from Brisbane and Maverick Cuthbert from Perth, along with Sam Heaven from Napier, New Zealand.

But there could be only one winner, with Sam Heaven being crowned the 2020 Golden Chef of the Year. Sam who has been awarded $10,000 to further his culinary career was elated:

“This caps off an incredibly challenging time not only for me but for all the other young chefs across New Zealand and Australia who have had to deal with the uncertainty of a global pandemic. To achieve success in this event I had to park all the stresses of two lockdowns as well as being part of launching a new restaurant and 5 star hotel, and forge ahead with an end game in mind of winning” - Sam Heaven, 2020 Golden Chef of the Year

By Sam Heaven

Entrée: Salt Baked Onions, Mushroom, Fennel and Fermented Rice purée, Juniper

Main: Reconstructed Chicken and Butternet Tart

Dessert: Chocolate, Sour Pear Mousse, Umami Caramel and CHEF Black Garlic Paste

Chef Davy Dai from Victoria also achieved the Most Creative Use of a Nestlé Product Award and was awarded a $1,000 cash prize.

By Davy Dei

Main: Mushroom stuffed chicken, confit potato, broccolini with blueberry salad, port wine glaze and chicken apricot jus


See the highlights from this year's competition below  

Watch the full Virtual Awards Ceremony HERE

Congratulations to all our finalists

Medal Achievements

Sam Heaven 

NZ North Island


Eve Sheraton 



Maverick Cuthbert

Western Australia  


Sarah Jones

South Australia


Josh Nickl 

NSW Regional


Jaaydn Byrne

NSW Metro


Davy Dai 



Sadhvi Chawla



Taylah King  Northern Territory


Jamie Jackson

NZ South Island