Challenger’s kitchen rules

Thursday, 17 July 2014
An apprentice chef from Hamilton Hill is hoping to cook up an international title after claiming first place in the Chaine des Rotisseurs Jeunes Commis national competition last month.

Morgan Keyte, 20, out cooked six national competitors representing each state in Australia to secure the top prize, which will see him heading to South Africa to compete in the final.

The Challenger Institute of Technology Certificate III in Commercial Cookery student is in the final year of his apprenticeship at Mosmans Restaurant in Mosman Park.

Morgan said winning the competition was a humbling experience.

“Participating in this world-acclaimed cooking competition with the calibre of chef’s I was competing against was both daunting but highly rewarding,” Morgan said.

“I was only 19 when I competed making me the youngest and only non-qualified chef in the whole event.

“To think I was even considered worthy of entering the competition let alone winning it is incredible. I’m still pinching myself.”

The competition held at Challenger Institute’s student-operated training restaurant, Quinlan’s, involved a mystery box of nine ingredients that the chefs were required to incorporate into their three-course menu.

The competitors were assessed on their kitchen skills and conduct as well as the presentation and taste of their dishes.

Challenger Institute hospitality lecturer Phil Westwood said Morgan’s first place title was most deserved and he should be very proud of his achievements. Mr Westwood will be joining Morgan as his mentor at the international event.

“The competition this year demonstrated that food awareness, knowledge and presentation in some of our younger chefs is on par with the rest of the world,” Mr Westwood said.

“Morgan is an exceptional young chef who has a great understanding, passion and skill with food. I truly believe Morgan has the talent and ability to go as far as he wants to go in the cooking world.”

After Morgan completes his apprenticeship he hopes to travel overseas and gain cooking experience in different countries. 

“The best thing about being a chef is that you can do this profession anywhere in the world while being able to experience new cuisines and ways of cooking,” Morgan said.

“My career goal is to be a head chef by the age of 25. It’s ambitious but I’m confident I can do it.”

Morgan will be representing Australia at the Chaine des Rotisseurs Jeunes Commis international competition in Durban in South Africa this September. Young chefs from over twenty countries will be participating in the prestigious annual event, which has been running since 1977.

The Chaine des Rotisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950 with origins back to 1248. The goal of the society is to bring its members together to celebrate their passion for fine cuisines, and to aid and encourage the development of young chefs worldwide through its national and international competitions.

Challenger Institute’s School of Hospitality and Tourism is a multi-award winning specialist training area that prepares students for careers in commercial cookery, tourism, event management, food and beverage service, accommodation services and kitchen operations.

Students receive hands-on experience at the Gold Plate Award-winning Quinlan's Training Restaurant. The school also offers a range of hospitality short courses.
PHOTO CAPTION: Morgan Keyte in the Quinlan’s kitchen.
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