A MOUNT Cotton chef has secured himself a spot in the finals of Australia's longest-running culinary competition.
John Jamieson, 24, and competition partner Ryan Woodward - both of whom work at OTTO Brisbane - competed in the regional cook-offs of the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award in Brisbane on June 8.
The pair had two and a half hours to prepare a two course meal and were marked on aspects including food presentation and taste, nutritional balance, wastage and originality.
Mr Jamieson and Mr Woodward served seared lamb rump with potato, mushroom textures and season greens for their main course and olive oil cake with candy peanuts and coconut and lime cream for their dessert.
The judging panel awarded them a gold medal, scored against globally-recognised culinary standards.
"I think everything went to plan on the day, particularly our dessert, I was really happy with that," Mr Jamieson said.
"Ryan encouraged me to enter and I'm really glad he did."
They will now prepare to do battle against the country's top talent in the public arena at Fine Food Australia in Sydney this September.
There, they will have four hours to prepare a three course meal.
Executive chef and head judge Mark Clayton said the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award existed to support the professional development of young chefs.
"This award is about pushing yourself to be a better chef," he said.
"It offers young talent the opportunity to accelerate their culinary journey."
The Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award has been running for 54 years.
The 2019 national winning team will be awarded a $15,000 culinary trip to North America.