Charismatic Broome trainee chef Nelize Pretorius dazzled judges at this year’s prestigious National Apprentice
of the Year competition, taking third place and a high merit for her performance.
The second-year commercial cookery apprentice at Kimberley Training Institute and Zoo Bar and Cafe represented
Broome and WA on November 12 when she flew to Brisbane to take part in the cook-off.
The competition is supported by the Australian Culinary Federation and is open to apprentice chefs nationwide.
After undertaking gruelling five hour daily practice sessions for the competition, Ms Pretorius said she was delighted her hard work paid off but said she was only too happy not to see gnocchi for a long time.
“It seems surreal now … I spent the month before the competition perfecting my dish,” she said.
“I came to TAFE with five dozen eggs to make omelettes … I made so many omelettes to prepare for the competition.”
As part of her menu, the 19-year-old had to create an omelette, a quail entrée and poached lamb rump for her main.
Ms Pretorius said she felt pressure on the day of the competition, waking up around 5am to ready herself.
However, her hard work paid off when she was awarded the highest percentage from the judges.
“I’m really happy … I had a lot of congratulations when I went back to work (Zoo Bar),” she said.
Ms Pretorius said while she was planning a culinary career in Melbourne, her short-term goal was to complete her apprenticeship next year and enjoy working in Broome.