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Adelaide Oval chefs Abbey Wendland (22) and Mahlet Girma (24), have for the second consecutive year been crowned the national champions in the country’s longest-running and most prestigious competition for young chefs – the Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Competing against Australia’s 10 best junior chef teams, the powerhouse-pair cooked up a recipe for success to take out the title and win themselves a culinary trip to Vietnam.

“We seriously can’t believe this, we’ve won, again! We worked so well together, everything went smoothly and the kitchens and equipment this year were next level! This is such a great competition, from the people you meet along the way to the skills you walk away with, it’s awesome,” said Abbey and Mahlet.

The teams competed live at the Fine Food Australia tradeshow in Sydney over two days, where they cooked-off in front of a record-breaking crowd in purpose-built commercial kitchens.

The Adelaide Oval duo’s winning menu included a standout gold medal dessert course of apple and rhubarb mousse, salted crumb with grapefruit curd and poached thyme pear.

“For the second year running Mahlet and Abbey have done Adelaide Oval and South Australia proud! We’re thrilled they continue to excel in the culinary industry and we think their success speaks volumes for the way in which we approach our quality food at Adelaide Oval,” said Adelaide Oval SMA CEO Andrew Daniels.

“Our Director of Cuisine Hamish Robertson and Executive Chef Adelaide Oval Philip Pope have invested a lot of time in mentoring Mahlet and Abbey so this award is certainly a team effort and reflects the fantastic people we have at all levels at Adelaide Oval.”

Both girls have been with Adelaide Oval since 2013 with Abbey completing her apprenticeship here earlier this year and Mahlet recently becoming Chef de Partie in the Hill of Grace Restaurant.

Adelaide Oval has 12 apprentices currently working at the stadium, with another four set to wrap up their apprenticeships early next year.

“We’re very proud of the apprenticeship program we run so this award is terrific news and follows on from Abbey’s win as Apprentice Cook of the Year at the 2017 Restaurant & Catering SA Awards for Excellence,” Mr Daniels said.

“It shows that the high calibre of training from our team of quality Chefs is really making a difference and I’m sure this back to back win will inspire our whole team to keep striving to be the best.”


Elise Partington – 0417 875 126 or