Chef Jessi has appetite for success

Jessi McEwan will bring local talent to the international stage when she attends WorldChefs world congress in Malaysia in a few weeks. photograph hayley mills

Jessi McEwan will bring local talent to the international stage when she attends WorldChefs world congress in Malaysia in a few weeks. photograph hayley mills

Taking Gippsland talent to the international stage, local chef Jessi McEwan is proving you don't need to be from the city to make it big.

Recently appointed as the global brand ambassador for the World Association of Chefs Societies, Ms McEwan has travelled the world with her job but is still proud to call Gippsland home.

"I feel so privileged to be from Gippsland," she said.

"You sort of feel like things like this happens to people in the city. You don't think [people] from Traralgon.

"But everyone keeps saying 'it doesn't matter where you are from. If you are passionate and dedicated, people notice you'."

Ms McEwan has been passionate about cooking since she was a child and even with seven years' of experience in the industry, she still enjoys her work.

"I've been the young chef ambassador for Australia and the Pacific for almost four years now," she said.

"Seven years [in the industry] I'm still doing it and I'm still really enjoying it."

Now in her new role, the face of WorldChefs, Ms McEwan actively promotes the association and will fly to Malaysia in a couple of weeks to attend World Chefs' world congress.

Aside from globetrotting with her job, she will soon compete in the national Appetite for Excellence competition in Sydney, a highly prestigious cooking competition for young chefs.

"I'm up against some pretty amazing chefs, but if you win the prize is an all expenses paid [work experience] anywhere in the world and any restaurant you want to go to," she said.

"I'd love to go to Blue Hill in New York. That is just a dream, but who knows, all this stuff that has happened gives me hope."

Ms McEwan has attended the WorldChefs congress twice before, however, suspects this may be her last time.

"I'd like to get other young chefs over there. It is a lot of money and we fundraise for it, but it is such a good opportunity for young chefs," she said.

"There are 92 countries involved and thousands and thousands of chefs go to this event."

With the world at her feet, Ms McEwan has still opted to live and work in Gippsland.

"I'd love to give some chefs in the city the opportunity to experience our produce," she said.

"Normally it is vice versa." 

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