AUS TAFE Culinary State Finals at Bendigo TAFE


On Tuesday the 22nd of September, over 80 apprentice chefs from across Victoria made their way to Bendigo to compete in the AUS TAFE Culinary State Finals. Having secured their spot by emerging as the top contenders in the previous round of the competition held on the 28th of July), the apprentices were now ready to face the next challenge and secure their spot in the national finals, to be held in Perth on 12th of October.

Having arrived at the beautiful Bendigo TAFE City Campus in the morning, the apprentices were welcomed and escorted to the two competition kitchens. Each competition kitchen offered access to state of the art equipment. It was now time to sharpen their knives and draw on their knowledge and experience to hold the competition at bay.

Kangan Institute was represented by Bree SharpeSamuel WoodRocco MorabitoAdisa Seferovic and Bradley Sutton, while Bendigo TAFE representatives included Jackson BlakemoreMiranda PriceHarry GibbsJason DowdNikita TattCasey Bennet and Braiden Fry.

Kangan Institute apprentices and culinary students made a strong showing on the day, walking away with four bronze and one silver medal. Brad Sutton was awarded the best 3rd year apprentice, an honour which will see him take part in the finals in Perth.

Other honours of the night included:

  • Adisa Seferovic – Certificate III in Commercial Cookery – Bronze
  • Kevin Pisani – 3rd year apprentice at the Boathouse – Bronze
  • Rocco Morabito - 2nd year apprentice at Sam’s Café - Bronze
  • Samuel McAlister Wood - 2nd year apprentice at University House

Bendigo TAFE students from the Bendigo and Echuca Campuses made an equally strong showing winning five bronze medals and two students receiving participation awards.

Honours included:

  • Nikita Tatt (Echuca Campus) – 1st year apprentice at the Moama RSL – Bronze
  • Casey Bennett (Echuca Campus) – 1st year apprentice at the Kerang Sporties Club – Bronze
  • Braiden Fry(Echuca Campus) – 2nd year apprentice at Shebani – Bronze
  • Miranda Price (Bendigo Campus)- 2nd year apprentice at Tog’s – Bronze
  • Jason Blakemore (Bendigo Campus) – 2nd year apprentice at Sim’r – Bronze
  • Harry Gibbs (Bendigo Campus) – 2nd year apprentice at the The Piper Street Food Company – Participation Award
  • Jason Dowd (Bendigo Campus) – 3rd year apprentice at The National Hotel Bendigo - Participation Award

The Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute winners selected for the next round will now work closely with their teachers and mentors to prepare for what promises to be a gruelling final series of cook offs in Perth. Their performance in the state finals has shown that the apprentices have a high level of skill and technical expertise, a combination of their work place apprenticeship and the training provided by the institute.

They will be joined in Perth by Nicole Mynard, who has also been selected as this year’s Victorian Team Manager.

We wish all the apprentices and the team manager the very best and cannot wait to see them showcase their skills at the National Finals.

For more information on Kangan Institute’s hospitality and culinary courses, visit

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