Stephanie Coupland began working in the industry at the age of 16 at Flying Fish in Sydney. After working at Est in Sydney she decided to travel overseas to further her career, taking up a post at The Fat Duck in Bray where she worked for two-and-a-half-years.
Her next role was at Petrus in Knightsbridge where she worked for 18 months before moving to Restaurant Gordon Ramsay as senior chef de partie.
"What inspired me when I was younger, and still inspires me to be a chef, is my family," she says. "Both my parents are chefs and all of my childhood I ate the most amazing food. Special occasions were something we looked forward to because we could plan an amazing family meal together.
"Food is something that has always been very special to me. I always wanted to be able to cook like my parents (something I'm still trying to achieve, but I don't think I ever will because you can't beat my mum’s amazing chocolate cake or dad’s roast duck with sweet potato mash and green peppercorn sauce)."
Coupland decided to enter the National Chef of the Year competition this year to push herself and check out the rest of the competition.
"Plus, I think it would be nice to have a woman win it for once!" she says.