Chefs take up the challenge 


The 3rd annual Territory Culinary Challenge is set to get underway with chefs from 12 of Darwin’s top restaurants ready to tempt diners with new and innovative cuisine from local ingredients.

The Challenge is organised by Charles Darwin University’s cookery lecturer T.Y. Lee, who is also president of the NT chapter of the Australian Culinary Federation.

Throughout April, the restaurants will create dishes from local ingredients such as camel, snapper, outback spices, and fruit and vegetables as part of the challenge. Prizes will be awarded in each category for preparation, taste and value-for-money.

T.Y. Lee said the Culinary Challenge had grown to become a significant event on the Territory’s food calendar since its inception in 2006.

“The aim of the challenge is to showcase the creativity of chefs from Darwin’s leading restaurants and promote our region’s unique produce through new and innovative cuisines,” he said.

“With the hospitality industry’s rapid growth throughout the Territory, this latest competition endeavours not only to challenge the chefs to create cuisine with uniquely Territorian ingredients, but also to raise the profile of the industry.”

Each category in the challenge has been chosen to highlight an ingredient that has been produced, grown or caught in the Territory, with competitors able to experiment with new ways of preparing and presenting them.

This year sees two new awards added to the competition: the JEBFAB Encouragement Award and the Minister’s Award for Most Innovative Use of Territory Produce.

A panel of anonymous judges drawn from the hospitality industry and food critics will visit each restaurant and sample the cuisine to decide the winners.

The 2008 Territory Culinary Challenge will be launched on Monday, 31 March at Parliament House from 5.30pm to 6.30pm.Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner at SkyCity Darwin on Monday, 2 June.

CDU, the Northern Territory Seafood Council, Fresh Produce, Kosmos Foods, Simon George and Sons, Darwin Fish Market, Central Australian Camel Industry and Arafura Catering Equipment are among the sponsors.