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Joe competing

Three Apprentice Chefs are sharpening their knives, researching their produce and perfecting their recipes in the lead-up to the Grand Final of the ETC Apprentice of the Year Cook-off competition to be held at Coffs Central on Thursday 11 July. The event will be held from 11am – 1pm outside Kmart at the top of Coffs Central Shopping Centre. Find out more about the event

Joseph Carrall outcooked his competitors at the North Coast regional final with his Lemon Myrtle scented Barramundi – which landed him a place in the Grand Final.

Hi Joe, tell us about your role

“I work underneath my Head Chef Nathan at the Lismore Bounty Motel. I’ve been in the business for about two years now. I worked here for about six months before gaining the Apprenticeship. I had been cooking previous to this at a couple of other Cafes. This is my opportunity to get qualified – to be able to achieve something at the end. The kitchen is my happy place, I’m very happy there.”

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

“Definitely winning the regional ETC Cook-Off competition and making it through to the Grand Final. That was a massive highlight – I didn’t think I was even going to get into the regional competition, let alone win it. I’m very surprised and it’s fantastic.”

Talk us through the regional semi-finals

“It was tough – the other 2 chefs I was competing against were very talented and their dishes looked absolutely fantastic, but with my luck I managed to come away with the win.”

“It’s fantastic to have this opportunity. We’re used to hanging in the back of the kitchen, no one sees us. But these competitions and doing the Apprenticeship through ETC, enables us to showcase the general public what we can do and what we can achieve still as Apprentices. Even though we aren’t fully qualified yet, we can demonstrate our skills.”

How did you feel when ETC called you to say you had made it through to the Grand Final?

“To be honest, I didn’t think it was real to start with. Once I came to the realization it wasn’t a prank call – I was over the moon! Shocked, but very happy.

I’m a little nervous, but I think those nerves are a good thing. I think if I wasn’t nervous it would mean I’m complacent and I don’t want to be that way. I want to use these nerves to my advantage. Very excited to see what these other Chefs will plate up and see what my competition is like. 

I think my advantage will be the techniques that I’ve learned in my role here under my head chef, my flavours, my skills, my plating. I’ll be trying to get that top quality 5 star dish out to impress the judges.”

What’s your experience been like with ETC and the Yes Chef program?

“I found it easier for both my professional and personal life. It’s a lot easier to do on-the-job training here with my head chef and have the ETC assessor come evaluate me here, rather than go offsite for a whole day each week.”

Thanks Joe and good luck!


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