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NT chefs take triple bronze

By Leanne Miles

Ryleigh Hunt says the competition has inspired her to continue competing Ryleigh Hunt says the competition has inspired her to continue competing

Charles Darwin University cookery students have taken home three bronze medals after competing with junior and apprentice chefs from around the country at this year’s National Final of the 2015 Nestlé Golden Chef’s Hat Award.

Berry Springs Tavern apprentice chefs Ryleigh Hunt and Jenita Hunt represented the Northern Territory at the national final in Sydney.

The sisters cooked off against the country’s eight best junior chef teams, achieving bronze medals for their entrée, main and dessert courses.

Certificate III in Commercial Cookery student Jenita said it had been a great experience to compete with her sister against some of Australia’s best junior chefs.

“It is pretty exciting to have achieved the bronze against such talented junior chefs,” Jenita said. “It was stressful, but dealing with that is part of the job.”

The young chef said training at CDU had helped her learn the fine dining and organisational skills required to compete.

“We worked with the lecturers on the creation of our ingredients list and work flow plans,” she said. “They also helped us with our menu creation and plating skills.”

She said the competition had inspired her to continue competing.

“You really had to think out of the box,” she said. “The team that won was incredible, receiving a perfect score. I hope to be at that level one day.”

Senior Commercial Cookery and Bakery Lecturer Jason Wilkes said the young apprentices had been training hard at the commercial cookery kitchens at CDU’s Palmerston campus and the triple bronze was a great result against the nation’s talented young chefs.

“National competitions are a great way for the students to measure their skills against the best junior chefs in the country,” he said.

“For such young chefs it is a steep learning curve. Their organisation and “mise en place” (preparation) must be top notch to excel.”

Celebrating 50 years in 2015, the competition offers young chefs an opportunity to pit themselves against their peers and benchmark their cooking skills.