Peppers' apprentices Reed and Billy
Peppers' apprentices Reed and Billy

It’s not just the mouth-watering cuisine simmering in the kitchen of Merretts Restaurant at Peppers Anchorage because the Port Stephens favourite is also a hot bed of up and coming cooking talent.

Two young apprentices from the acclaimed restaurant have been judged winners at recent Hospitality Training Network (HTN) apprentice competitions, further enhancing its flavour as one of NSW’s finest dining establishments.

Third year apprentice Billy Eitz has won two major culinary awards in the last three months – the HTN Butcher and Chef competition’s ‘Best Individual Chef’ award and ‘Best Team’ award, which saw him team up with an apprentice butcher to combine talents. The HTN award win followed another victory at the Hunter Regional HTN Culinary Competition.

Fellow third year apprentice Reed Simpson won first place at the grand final of the 2011 HTN Apprentice Chef Culinary Competition held in Sydney on 5 October. This outstanding achievement means he is considered to be the top HTN third year apprentice in NSW, ACT and VIC.

“Both Billy and Reed are set for great things and once they complete their apprenticeships and have the Peppers experience under their belt, they will make very fine chefs”, says Peppers Anchorage Head Chef Andrew Driscoll.

Taste test some of Head Chef Andrew Driscoll’s, Billy Eitz’s and Reed Simpson’s faire at Peppers Anchorage’s Merretts Restaurant where signature dishes include Taste of the Sea – A trio: Crab mousse cigar, squid linguine, mussels and a borsch reduction as well as pan seared prawns with a fennel and chive salad, dill arrancino and a buerre rouge sauce.