G&M 2016 'Potentialist of the Year'

Katey Shaw - Campbelltown Catholic Club

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Great chefs are born not only out of talent for cooking and a desire to create marvellous food, but also through sheer determination and extraordinarily difficult work during many long hours spent in the kitchen. Those with the potential to do well in the hospitality industry demonstrate the drive to learn all there is to know about their craft; they are not afraid to try new and different techniques, and to experiment with flavour and texture combinations. In Australia, we are fortunate to have many talented and hardworking chefs and apprentice chefs to lead the industry into the future, and the American Express 2016 Potentialist of the Year Award will provide one of them with an unprecedented opportunity to hone their skills while building international experience.

In an era when young people seem to be turning their backs on the hospitality industry as a career - which is creating an alarming shortage in the number of qualified chefs across Australia - Katey Shaw is a refreshing exception. The 23-year-old from Macquarie Fields in Sydney's south west enjoys the thrill of the adrenaline rush that comes from rattling the pans in the stressful environment found in most professional kitchens. She is certainly not afraid of backbreaking labour, often working more than 12 hours a day, and her commitment to the industry has seen her recently complete her apprenticeship. When she does have the odd day off, she spends her time improving her culinary skills and connections by taking a variety of courses or participating in NSW-ACT & Regions Young Chef's Club activities and fundraising.

Last year's runner up, Katey Shaw has matured and really shown us that she would excel enormously with supported international exposure. She is a determined and energetic young chef who knows exactly where she is going, and we believe there are great things ahead for her. With finalist positions in some of the industry's leading chef awards - and now a win as the American Express 2016 Potentialist of the Year - Katey plans to continue her education, specialising as a pastry chef.