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BEST OF THE BATCH: 2020 Brett Graham Scholarship winner announced

TAFE NSW Hamilton

BEST OF THE BATCH: 2020 Brett Graham Scholarship winner announced

Pictured: Mark McManus, TAFE NSW Head Teacher Commercial Cookery with 2020 Brett Graham Scholarship winner Matthew Mirosevich and Gus Maher, Hunter Culinary Association Chairman

Signal Box Apprentice chef Matthew Mirosevich has risen to the top, taking out the 2020 Brett Graham Scholarship after battling it out in the final cook-off on Tuesday night at TAFE NSW Hamilton.  

In partnership with the Hunter TAFE Foundation and the Hunter Culinary Association, the Scholarship is named after one of TAFE NSW's most successful alumni and former Novocastrian Brett Graham.   

The $10,000 prize includes a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery and a once-in-a-lifetime trip to London, to work with Mr Graham in his award-winning businesses, including the Harwood Arms and The Ledbury.   

Shortlisted from a group of seven apprentice chefs, Mr Mirosevich was joined by finalists Jayden Dann, EXP Restaurant and Samuel McKinnon, Muse Restaurant. The finalists were given the task to design and cook a menu based on ingredients selected by Mr Graham. 

The judging panel was joined this year by TAFE NSW alumni and 2009 Scholarship winner Garreth Robbs, Head Chef at Molines Bistro in the Hunter Valley.  

"The quality of dishes this evening was exceptional,” said Mr Robbs. 

“The brief embodied Brett's signature classic combinations with innovative twists. This gave the finalists room to interpret the brief when designing their menus and feature their take on timeless classics." 

Looking back on his time at The Ledbury, Mr. Robb said seeing how a kitchen operated at that high level was eye-opening.  

"My time in London has impacted every aspect of my career. After nearly 11 years and now as a Head Chef, I'm still drawing on things I learnt for the first time," said Mr. Robbs.  

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Commercial Cookery Mark McManus said, "I am very proud of the high standard of technical ability demonstrated by each of our students.”  

“They presented sophisticated dishes that really showcased their talent and skill level."  

Hunter Culinary Association Chairman Gus Maher said, "The Scholarship is a chance to refine skills and build connections that help launch successful careers.”  

“Our Scholarship winners bring their experience back to the Region, shaping innovation and further promoting the Hunter Region as a premier food destination." 

For more information on Hospitality and Commercial Cookery courses, visit or phone 131 601. 

Media contact: Kelly Lawler, Communications Specialist