Finalists for Best New Talent 2018

Danielle Alvarez, Fred's, Sydney

Danielle Alvarez, Fred's, Sydney

The prodigies, the trailblazers, the ones to watch: the award for Best New Talent is one of the most exciting categories in the GT Restaurant Awards, partly because we know there's plenty more tricks we're yet to see from these talented chefs.


We have to allow for a certain elasticity to the term "new" when we're talking Best New Talent. On the strength of the four years Danielle Alvarez put in at the kitchen at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters, the grand dame of Californian cuisine called her one of her favourite cooks. But this is Alvarez's first proper gig in Australia, and, as far as the "talent" part of the equation goes, we're on much safer ground. Alvarez is one of those rare naturals whose work seems perfectly unforced, even as it wows diners with flavour, again and again.

In short: The Merivale MVP.


After a tour of some of the best kitchens in Australia and a brief stint working as a hired-gun head chef for a large company, Josh Niland is heading a kitchen that's really his own, and showing that he's got more than potential. At Saint Peter he's pushing the boundaries of what you can do with seafood in Australia, balancing ambition and humility as carefully as he tempers his technical skills with taste. He has an eye for good produce, a fierce dislike of waste, and a passion for his subject that's a joy to behold.

In short: A seafood savant.


Even if he wasn't so young, Charlie Carrington's balancing act of opening his own restaurant, cooking almost everything over fire, changing cuisines every four months at Atlas Dining (from Vietnamese to Israeli to Korean to date) and doing it really, really well would be impressive. That he's only 23 and seems to have his ego firmly in check is worth all the applause we can throw his way.

In short: A winning rebuttal to the idea that the young folk of today are work-shy.

Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Sydney's best cafes

Good coffee is becoming more rule than exception in Sydney's...

Sydney's best Thai restaurants

Sydney prides itself on its Thai food, and for good reason.

Sydney's best wine bars

The city's new-wave wine bars wow with the grape, and in man...

Sydney's best cheap eats

Looking for a list of Sydney's best cheap eats? Here are som...

Brisbane's best cheap eats

Looking for Brisbane's best cheap eats? Here are some of our...

Brisbane's best cafes

Brisbane is embracing the cult of espresso like never before...

Brisbane's best steaks

Our picks of Brisbane's best places to grab a steak.

Brisbane's best bars

Brisbane has punched above its weight in the bar world for a...

Melbourne's best cafes

Our favourite cafe's in Melbourne, as seen in our 2014 Gourm...

Melbourne's best cheap eats

The best places in Melbourne to catch a bargain meal.

Sydney's best bars

Looking for Sydney's best bars? Here are our picks.

Finalists for Maitre D' of the Year 2018

The maitre d' is your first introduction to a restaurant - t...

Finalists for New Restaurant of the Year 2018

Three hot-to-trot new restaurants - and all of them in Sydne...

The 2014 Top 100

Our list of the Top 100 restaurants in the country from the ...