MEDIA RELEASE: Announcing results of Executive Chef of the Year Awards. Crown Melbourne Resort’s Kelly Jackson wins Executive Chef of the Year 2016


SYDNEY May 20th 2016: After months of intense competition Crown Melbourne Resort’s Kelly Jackson has been named Australia’s top executive chef.


The final judging for the inaugural Executive Chef of the Year 2016 competition was held at the popular Estelle Bistro in Melbourne’s north, with celebrity chefs Scott Pickett and Shane Delia and the Culinarian’s, Andrew Crispin.


The Winners

First prize - Kelly Jackson, Crown Melbourne Resort

Second prize - Mark Normoyle, RACV Club, Victoria

Runner up- Tom Brockbank, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Runner up - George Fouskarinis, Compass Group Australia1


Kelly Jackson, Crown Melbourne Resort    Mark Normoyle, RACV Club


Jackson wowed judges with his bite-sized “Jamon Iberico, poached quails egg and crunchy potato” canapé, giving Spanish cooking a bold Australian twist.


The executive chef said winning the competition was “above and beyond” his expectations and “the ultimate accolade”.


“I was very happy to be part of it and very happy with the result,” Jackson said. “It’s great for me and it’s great for Crown. Overall it was quite a team effort. I was able to show off some of the techniques and ideas I’ve picked up along the way during my whole career.”


Entrants were tasked with creating eight “evolution menu” themed tapas-style canapés using key premium Spanish ingredients courtesy of major sponsors; Manolete, Garcia Baquero, Navidul and Hiramasa Kingfish.


The winner will fly out for a 4 day trip to Spain to visit the famous Barcelona markets and take inspiration from the country’s rich culinary tradition and visit modern restaurants.


With the calibre of entries received, Idea Foods head Juan Sagnier said he was extending the trip to second prize winner Mark Normoyle, from Melbourne’s RACV Club. “Travelling to Spain together with us – the two will have more fun,” Sagnier said.


Normoyle said he was looking forward to heading to Spain and that being recognised by his peers was a great acknowledgement for himself and his team.


“I feel privileged to be in the competition,” he said. “I had fun doing it and it’s great to get a reward at the end of it.”


Tom Brockbank, Etihad Stadium

George Fouskarinis, Compass Group Australia


The two highly commended runners up are George Fouskarinis from Compass Group Australia and Tom Brockbank from Etihad Stadium Melbourne who each win a Hiramasa Kingfish “Culinary Odyssey” to the Spencer Gulf in South Australia.


Executive Chefs Club founder and Food Companion International publishing editor Mel Nathan said she was impressed by the chefs’ creativeness and attention to detail in executing the brief. These chefs are very popular amongst their colleagues due to their calming and happy dispositions.


“What we saw were true and accurate presentations of how some of the top-end dining establishments are catering to the demands of quality high volume,” Nathan said. “Some of the in-depth expressions from the chefs on how food has evolved in Australia were outstanding.”


For more information about the Executive Chefs Club or Executive Chef of the Year 2016 please One-on-one interviews including Evolution Menus are available on request.


Contact:  Mel Nathan on 0413 616 683 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.