Hot Talent Award: Time Out Food Awards 2017

Highlighting a future star of the restaurant scene
Photograph: Carmen Zammit

Winner: Charley Snadden-Wilson, Embla

Charley Snadden-Wilson knows a thing or two about the heat in the kitchen. Working with Embla’s wood grill can be brutal, says the 26-year-old Kiwi. “It’s become acceptable for us to wear shorts in summer,” he tells Time Out. “Dave [Verheul, Embla owner and executive chef] has always hated chef shorts, but these days you’ll see us with our black aprons and these pasty, white legs.”

Radiant heat aside, cooking with fire suits Snadden-Wilson’s style. He started at the Town Mouse three and a half years ago, moved across to sibling venue Embla a month into its life, and has been there ever since as sous chef. “Embla’s forced me to focus on cooking over fire, and reaffirmed it’s something I just really enjoy doing.” He’s making a name for himself in chef circles thanks in part to pop-up events with Private Dining Room. There are plans afoot for other one-off dinners with mate Zack Furst from Ides (see our Hot Talent shortlist), as well as accruing the skills to open his own place. But in the immediate future, Embla is destined to be his baby when the long-awaited upstairs restaurant opens early next year and he takes the reins as head chef.

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Zack Furst, Ides

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Age ain’t nothing but a number, and Zack Furst proves it. Peter Gunn’s sous’s finesse as the kitchen’s second in charge is an essential part in making Ides a fine-tuned dining machine.

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Sushil Aryal, Cutler and Co

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Keep an eye on Aryal – he is a sought after chef in Andrew McConnell’s kitchens, and is active in his efforts to bring traditional Nepalese cuisine to the fore in Australia.


Natasha Burnett, Pei Modern

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Days of the grumpy, touting chef are over. Head chef Anthony Hammel’s says his sous is a “fantastic people person” and “injects a dose of creativity” to the Pei Modern menu.

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Stephen Clark, San Telmo

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Got beef? San Telmo sous Stephen Clark’s top-to-tail knowledge is second only to his expertise in cooking with fire. This is a chef who seriously knows his way around a barbecue.

See all the winners

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