Who is Australia’s Best Home Chef?


What would happen if you took a well known television cooking show, kept the talented contestants, the prominent chefs, the great recipes and big prizes but remove the tears, tantrums, ad breaks and overly dramatic music?

You would end up with The Best Home Chef competition which recently concluded its first year with a showdown between the finalists at the brand new Winning Appliances Flagship Showroom in Redfern last week. Over the course of the competition, more than 4,000 Australians signed up to the competition and submitted over 1,300 original recipes before being whittled down to the top 5.

The 5 finalists were paired with mentor chefs who were present on the night to assist them with the prep of their dishes. It’s not very often you get to see the likes of Mark Best, Pete Evans and Hamish Ingham play sous chef!

The Mentor Chefs

The Mentor Chefs

We were served canapés inspired by the home cook’s dishes and what seemed to me to be an unending supply of champagne. My pick of the dishes was the incredible Fig & Almond Frangipane Tart which wowed me with its crumbly texture and gently caramelised figs.

Fig & Frangipane Tart

Fig & Frangipane Tart

The finalists were:

  • Deborah Hopley and professional chef mentor Pete Evans, (My Kitchen Rules star and Wolf brand ambassador)
  • Snjezana Demo and professional chef mentor Mark Best (Marque Restaurant and AEG brand ambassador)
  • Sarah Lewis and professional chef mentor Hamish Ingham (The Woods, Four Seasons, Bar H and Siemens brand ambassador)


  • Melissa Darr and professional chef mentor Anthony Fischbeck, (Australian chef and Scholtes brand ambassador)


  • Stuart Talman and professional chef mentor Luca Ciano, (Australian chef and SMEG brand ambassador)
Deborah Hopely with mentor chef Pete Evans

Deborah Hopley with mentor chef Pete Evans

The crowd look on as the winner is announced

The crowd look on as the winner is announced

It’s great to see a competition like this encourage home chefs to be creative in the kitchen and to swap recipes with each other. I’m sure next year’s will be even bigger and better.

To try out some of the recipes for yourself and join the Best Home Chef community, visit the Best Home Chef website.

Jeremy Bowell attended the final as a guest of Winning Appliances

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Author:Jeremy Bowell

Jeremy Bowell is the founder and editor of Taste Explorer. He also writes for InsideCuisine.com, TheGrapeHunter.com, SoBadSoGood.com and has featured in the Sydney Morning Herald's Good Living section. He is an avid connoisseur of all things food and drink related.