For the very first time, The Bocuse d’Or New Zealand Academy will compete at the Bocuse d’Or.
After two postponements this year, the finale will be held on 26 & 27 September during Eurexpo at SIRHA.
Meet the Candidate: Andrew BALLARD
Andrew started his career as an apprentice at Metrolopois Café in Hamilton New Zealand. After a few years of misspent youth he had found a more positive avenue to channel his energies and took to the kitchen like a duck to water.
Andrew is currently the owner and chef for Simmer Culinary, a diverse hospitality company based on the Mornington Peninsula, that prides itself on providing a personalised paddock to plate dining experience. Food ethics and politics form the cornerstone of how the business is conducted. Simmer Culinary oversees the “Gastronomique development kitchen”. A cookery competition training kitchen where we train chefs to compete at the highest level of the culinary arts.
As a part of this role Andrew recently competed and was chosen as the candidate to represent his home country of New Zealand in the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon France. This competition was the brain child of famed French chef Paul Bocuse and is considered to be the Olympics for chefs. Andrew was also awarded “Australia’s most outstanding Chef for 2018 & 2019.
Simmer Culinary manages the complete kitchen operations for the largest culinary events around Australia. Overseeing all major kitchen operations for such amazing events as Taste of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Darwin, Good Food & Wine Show in all of the major cities and the Cake Bake & Sweets Show for both Melbourne and Sydney. This challenging roll keeps Andrew and the team on the road 20 weeks of the year.
With covid 19, Andrew used the downtime in 2020 to develop yet another amazing series of events “The Mindfull Food Project”. A series of events, each tackling a current issue faced by hospitality providores, food producers and the dining public. In what little spare time Andrew is an avid food forager. Also spending many hours hunting in the Victorian bush. Otherwise he can be found tending to his humble vegetable patch.
Meet the Commis: Quillan GUTBERLET
Quillan has always had an innovative style and high ambition in the culinary world. Growing up in the small West Coast town of Kumara, his passion stemmed from days of cooking alongside his grandmother to when he began working in the kitchen from the age of 12 and moving to the Theatre Royal Hotel in 2013.
At 14 he was awarded a scholarship to Tai Poutini Polytechnic where his passion for culinary arts grew, after graduating he began his journey at Huka Lodge in Taupo, moving to Blanket Bay Lodge in Glenorchy with Chef Corey Hume, and Pier 24 with Chef Michael Coughlin, to joining the Prohibition Smokehouse kitchen where he has been for two and a half years now.
In August 2017, Quillan won the Bocuse d’Or New Zealand National Selection commis prize. He competed in the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2018 competition in Guangzhou China along with Candidate Andrew Ballard and coach Corey Hume against 10 other countries. Both Quillan and Andrew repeated their winning success again in 2019 but unfortunately due to Covid-19 the Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific 2020 was cancelled. Through a wild card invitation, the Bocuse d’Or New Zealand Academy is going to the Lyon final 2021 where Quillan will compete against 22 other countries.
Quillan incorporates his knowledge and experience in all his food presentations, and has an ambition to continue to push his skills within the kitchen he steps foot in.