Chef Alexis Watson a silver finalist

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Chef Alexis Watson, (on the right) who works at C Restaurant, wants to work in Italy and one day own her own restaurant.

By Ingrid Jacobson

ALEXIS Watson’s flair for food has resulted in her being named as a silver finalist in the prestigious Nestle Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

The win will give Ms Watson of Two Rocks, global culinary kudos as the national event, which was held at the Joondalup’s TAFE campus and is run in partnership with the Australian Culinary Federation, is now a Worldchefs Endorsed Competition.

Ms Watson who previously took out Hospitality Group Training’s Apprentice of the Year 2014-2015, also cooks a mean pasta dish and hopes to work in Italy.

Having qualified as a commercial chef in November, she now works at C Restaurant in Perth and is presently studying for her Certificate IV in Patisserie at Joondalup TAFE.

The 19-year-old can remember cooking since she was “old enough to push a chair up to the bench” and names her mother as the muse behind her culinary career.

“I’ve grown up eating delicious food as Mum is a really good cook,” she said.

“One day I would love to own my own restaurant.”

For the competition she worked with C Restaurant’s Maverick Heston.

They cooked a Sous Vice pork loin with a sticky braised jus, carrot and fennel puree, and textures for their main, and whipped up a white chocolate soufflé with coffee custard sauce and condensed milk ice cream for dessert.

Meawhile, Nattawat Thiengdee of Quinns Rock was awarded a gold finalist gong in the annual cook off, which is the longest running culinary competition for young chefs  in Australia.

Mr Thiengdee worked with TAFE colleague, Denham Docherty and for mains, they chose to cook Morrocan-style lamb cutlets with a tangier sauce, and for dessert, banana parfait with coffee mousse.

Nineteen-year-old Mr Thiengdee, who entered the competition to “test myself”, is especially rapt at the award’s international flavour, especially given that his big dream is to one day work in Italy and cook with his favourite foods – meat and pasta.

The young man’s choice is unusual,  considering that he was born and raised in Thailand, migrated with his family to Australia seven years ago, and has put himself through study working in Thai restaurants.

But Mr Thiengdeet, who is presently in his first year of commercial cookery and recently came fourth in TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year, says meat and pasta are his passion.

“My main aim is to work in Italy and I would also like to work in London,” he said.

“I have always loved food, and decided to be a chef when I was 12-years-old.”