Today (May 24), the Australian Consulate-General hosted the final of its signature nationwide culinary competition. Nguyen Manh Dung and Nguyen Duc Phuong from Citysmart Hotel Management Hanoi beat stiff competition from three other teams, showing an exceptional combination of creativity and talent. These winners will receive two full tuition and residential fee scholarships valued at AUD $76,600 at the Blue Mountains International Hotel School in New South Wales, Australia.

Judges and the winners
A contestant choosing ingredients for his dish

Earlier on 21 May, 20 teams from the Vietnamese seven localities of Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Hue and Ba Ria-Vung Tau competed in the Taste of Australia culinary competition heats. The heats took place in Hanoi, Danang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City. Teams from Citysmart Hotel Management in Ha Noi, Danang Vocational Tourism College in Da Nang, A-Au Vocational Vuidance Corporation and Nha Trang College of Technology in Nha Trang, and Dalat Vocational School in Ho Chi Minh City won these heats and went on to compete in the final at the Le Meridien Hotel today.

Speaking at the competition, Australian Consul-General Julianne Cowley said: “We are delighted that these Vietnamese students can be part of the showcase of the best of Australia – our world class food and beverages, our vibrant culinary culture, and exemplary culinary education. Congratulations to our winners! With their passion and talent for cooking, the future is bright for these students.”

This is the fourth year the competition has been held in Vietnam. In 2016 the first edition took place in Ho Chi Minh City before the competition expanded across Vietnam in 2017. Judges and coaches for the final of this year’s competition were Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick, Australian Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City Julianne Cowley, Masterchef Ngo Thanh Hoa and Head of Recruitment – Asia, Blue Mountains School of Hospitality Management, Raffael Stangl.

Reported by Song Anh-Binh Chau