A great win by young local chef......
NZCA Names annual Culinarians’ of the Year.
A young chef from Hawkes Bays’ Vidal Winery has been named the NZCA Young Culinarian of the Year at the New Zealand
Chefs Associations 55th annual AGM in Auckland recently.
Claire Nickel (21) is a young chef whom is dedicated and determined to succeed in her chosen profession. Having taken up
a passion for cooking and food at a very early age, Claire started competing in culinary competitions at the age of 17.
She undertook her formal training via a Hospitality Standards Institutes Modern Apprentice Training Program. In 2010 she
was a member of the New Zealand Chefs Association Youth Team whom competed for and won the inaugural Gourmet Pacific
Challenge against an equally dedicated and skilled team of young Australian Chefs. In 2011 Claire was invited to join
the New Zealand Culinary Team where she has worked her way through the youth team ranks to now be a member of the
national senior squad.
Convenor of the adjudication panel for these awards, NZCA Vice President Gary Miller said of Claire. “Claire epitomises
all those qualities that senior members of the industry look for in a young chef, her skills and talents actually belie
her age. She is a role model that can be held up to other aspiring young chefs as an inspiration for them to achieve”
Miller goes on to say that “not only does Claire show commitment and dedication to her craft as a culinary professional,
she also finds time to mentor and train young girls in her area as a cheerleading coach”