APPRENTICE chef Matthew Kuhnemann took tips from some of Queensland's best chefs when he put his culinary skills to the test in a cooking competition at the weekend.
Matthew, 15, and his mentor commis chef Jared Morris left their usual kitchen at the Toowoomba Golf Club for the Southbank Institute of Technology to vie for a final berth in the Nestlé Golden Chef's Hat Award.
They were against 10 other teams of two who worked with set ingredients to create a three-course meal to impress the judging panel, including Nestlé chefs, restaurateurs and members of the Australian Culinary Federation.
"It was good to see where everyone else is at," Matthew said. "It was a really good experience."
Matthew said he kind of "fell into" his apprenticeship.
"Every day you come to work and you fall more in love with it," he said.
Mr Morris said he too learned a lot from competing against chefs from the high-end fine dining clubs of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"We had some good comments from the judges," Mr Morris said.
The pair prepared crispy skin barramundi fillets as part of their entree, char grilled beef for the main and a chocolate and honeycomb panna cotta for dessert.
"I took a lot from it and hopefully we will be able to do it again one day," Mr Morris said.
Fellow chef Taleah Reithmuller, from the Toowoomba Sports Club, paired with her cousin from Brisbane to also compete in the cook-off.
Matthew Wynn from The Brisbane Club and Jonathan Philben from Urbane won Saturday night's competition.