ASPIRING young chef Kirra Parsons continues to make an impression.
Ms Parsons, 19, has won a gold medal at the 2013 HTN Apprentice Chef Culinary Competition.
The heat was held at the Canberra Institute of Technology recently.
Ms Parsons showed her wares in the kitchen, taking out the top prize for her category.
It is the third consecutive year that Ms Parsons has won gold at the competition.
In previous years, she has taken part as a school-based apprentice.
Ms Parsons said she was stoked to be declared winner.
“I guess it’s always surprising, when you’re competing against apprentices from renowned establishments,” she said.
“It’s networking with the other apprentices and getting feedback from the chefs/judges.
“This enables you to improve your skills and experiment with your technique, ultimately making you a better chef.”
Ms Parsons said taking part in competitions such as HTN’s and Fonterra’s Proud to be a Chef was worthwhile.
“It definitely has its benefits in the long run,” she said.
“It has given me opportunities that I never thought I would get to experience.”
Ms Parsons is a second-year apprentice at Vicolo Restaurant, Merimbula, and a student at TAFE Illawarra Institute’s Bega campus.
She completed her first year while completing her Higher School Certificate studies at Lumen Christi Catholic College.
Vicolo owner Mark Bates said it was an impressive performance by Ms Parsons, who has been at the restaurant for a year-and-a-half.
“She is doing really well – we encourage Kirra with all of her competitions and endeavours,” Mr Bates said.
“It’s good to see a local person doing so well.
“Kirra is keen and conscientious.”
Bega TAFE head teacher of Hospitality and Tourism Deirdre Jory said “we are very proud of Kirra”.
“It’s another feather in the cap of Bega TAFE,” she said.
“She is competing with our counterparts – coming from a campus in a rural area, it shows the quality of training here.
“Kirra is going from strength to strength.”
The HTN Apprentice Chef Culinary Competition has now concluded for this year.
HTN marketing coordinator Suzi Brankovic said in previous years, there was a grand final for the winners of each heat.
“However, this year we have changed the format slightly, whereby we only had five regional heats and only one major prize,” she said.
“The major prize this year is for the highest-scoring HTN apprentice chef throughout the whole series.”
Ms Parsons now goes into the running for the top prize, a two-day paid experience with well-known chef Shannon Bennett at Vue De Monde, Melbourne.
The package includes flights and accommodation.