Aspiring Invercargill chef Stefenpon Sitinjak has taken out top place at the Lee Kum Kee NZ Developing Chefs Challenge 2020.
Sitinjak, a demi chef at Invercargill’s Ascott Park Hotel, competed alongside five other finalists to take the top prize at the final event held in Auckland on October 12.
Winning a $3,000 cash prize and a year-long ambassadorial role, Sitinjak will now go on to represent New Zealand at the Lee Kum Kee International Young Chinese Culinary Chefs Competition in Hong Kong next September.
Sponsored by Gilmours and Trents, aspiring chefs were required to enter a Chinese or Chinese-inspired dish by email and video, using a minimum of three Lee Kum Kee sauces or condiments and a main ingredient of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, salmon or vegetables.
With a total of 15 entries received from around New Zealand, six finalists were selected to compete in the qualifier.
“While all the contestants did a great job, Sitinjak put up an excellent dish with lovely flavours and use of ingredients.” said judge Mark Dronjak.
With a while to wait until the global final in Hong Kong next September, Stefenpon will spend the next year acting as ambassador for Lee Kum Kee which will include representing the brand at trade shows.