The winner of the 2018 Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship, supported by Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, has been named, with Kay-Lene Tan, the head pastyr chef at Tonka and Coda restaurants taking out the prestigious prize.

The Scholarship is now in its fifth year and Tan now has a once-in-a-career opportunity to work across three countries in internationally acclaimed hospitality businesses. When she returns to Australia, Kay-Lene will continue to expand her industry experience over a year-long mentorship with a local industry leader.

Hostplus – the national superannuation fund for the hospitality, tourism, recreation and sport industries – has supported the Scholarship since it launched in 2014.

Umberto Mecchi, chief marketing officer at Hostplus, said: “Hostplus is extremely proud to support the hospitality industry and the Scholarship provides long-term opportunities for the rising stars across Australia.

“Throughout the judging process, Kay-lene demonstrated a strong passion to drive and shape the future of the Australian hospitality industry. Her technical skills as a pastry chef combined with her desire to become one of the industry’s next leaders made her stand out to the panel.”

Open to employees aged 22 to 35, applications for the 2018 Scholarship represented a diverse and highly skilled cross section of the industry, from sommeliers and coffee professionals, to chefs and food truck vendors.

The 2018 runner-up finalists were:

  • Jenni Bryant (VIC), general manager of Market Lane Coffee
  • Shelly McElroy (NSW), training and development advisor at Merivale

Shelly and Jenni will join Kay-Lene for an exclusive development day with Hostplus ambassador Shane Delia, from Maha and Biggie Smalls in Melbourne.

Previous winners of the Scholarship include Mark Bashinsky from Aria Brisbane, Damien Neylon from Brae, Birregurra, and Elika Rowell of Square One Roasters, Melbourne.

Food + Wine Victoria will now work with Kay-Lene to facilitate her global travel and work experience and partner her with a local mentor.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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