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Local chefs in champion cook-off

By Leanne Coleman

Judges are expecting some innovative dishes using unique NT ingredients Judges are expecting some innovative dishes using unique NT ingredients

The Territory’s best senior and junior chefs will converge on Charles Darwin University’s Palmerston campus soon to compete for the title of Grand Champion in the 2013 Territory Culinary Challenge.

The competition involves teams from well-known local establishments from across the Top End using unique NT produce sourced from local suppliers, to create a memorable dining experience.

Commercial cookery lecturer Jason Wilkes said chefs would have to think outside the box to take home the title.

“The chefs will be using ingredients that may not appear on their everyday menus, so we are expecting some wild and wonderful creations,” Mr Wilkes said. “Competitors must also utilise the commodities’ list available to produce the dishes. Only ingredients on the list can be used.”

Each team will comprise a senior and junior chef, and must produce 12 portions of a three-course menu of their design using local produce including crocodile, barramundi and honey within the six-hour timeframe, which includes preparation and service. The dishes will be served to paying customers at CDU’s Karawa training restaurant.

Mr Wilkes said he was excited to see the innovative menus teams had submitted cooked to perfection and judged by industry professionals.

“Judges will check ingredients and submitted menus for compliance,” he said. “In the live cookery competition judges will be looking for correct Mise en place and cleanliness, professional preparation, arrangements and presentation, and taste.”             

Mr Wilkes said there was more than "bragging rights" up for grabs, with the new competition awarding the biggest cash prize of any cooking competition in the Northern Territory. The overall Grand Champion will receive an establishment trophy and $2000. Individual Course Champions will receive an establishment trophy and $200.

The competition will be held at Karawa training restaurant, Palmerston campus on 15 October. For more information about tickets, contact Kim Inglis on P: 8946 7847 or E:                                                    

The 2013 Territory Culinary Challenge is sponsored by CDU, Arafura Catering Equipment, Crocodylus Park, Humpty Doo Barramundi, Humpty Doo Apiaries, Australian Culinary Federation NT and Simon George and Sons.