Territory to turn up heat on young chefs 

Territory finalists with lecturers and judges at the launch of the Australian Apprentice Chef Competition with NT Administrator, his Honour Mr Tom Pauling AO

The nation’s best apprentice chefs are in the Territory to compete in the Australian Culinary Federation’s National Apprentice Competition and battle it out for the title of Australia’s best apprentice chef for 2011.

The competition was officially launched by the NT Administrator, his Honour Mr Tom Pauling AO, last night with the budding chefs competing at the Charles Darwin University Palmerston campus training kitchen today (Wednesday, 26 October). 

Four apprentices from every Australian state and territory, including a local team from CDU, will test their culinary skills and present dishes to the judges at the event.

CDU Senior VET Commercial Cookery Lecturer TY Lee said the competition would test competitors by emulating a kitchen service in which they were put under pressure to plate up dishes according to strict menu guidelines within an allocated time.

TY said depending on their year and skill level, competitors would test techniques ranging from cooking the perfect omelette, to preparing several courses using core ingredients chosen by the judges including barramundi.

“All will need to complete a technique-based section first, which will be followed by the main cooking challenge where they will be scored on preparation, presentation and taste,” he said.

“First years will be required to plate up racks of lamb with all the trimmings, second years will prepare local barramundi as entree and rump of lamb as main course, while third and fourth year apprentices prepare a main course and desert using oyster blade and local honey.

“They will then have to plate up individual serves of their tasty dishes for each of the four judges all within the given timeframe of two hours.”

TY said that CDU students took home two silver and two bronze medals last year and his team was looking to go one better this year.

The competition is run by the Australian Culinary Federation. The winner will be announced at a presentation dinner at Skycity Casino on 27 October.