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Australia’s top chefs battle it out at FoodService Australia Expo 2012

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The CHEF Australian Championship Competition, renowned as the most influential individual cooking competition in the country, is set to return to the 2012 FoodService Australia Expo in Sydney.   

The Individual Chef’s Championship attracts as many as 40 chefs and apprentices from all over Australia as they compete for generous amounts of prize money. Senior chefs battle it out for the first prize of $10,000 while apprentices compete for $2000 in prize money.  

The competition is designed to test which chef can cook best when under pressure, as they must produce dishes within a strict time frame, and they perform side by side in front of a panel of three qualified judges including Black Hat Chef George Hill, and a live audience.  “It’s about their individual skill, experience and ability to think on their feet that makes the difference” Timothy Collet, Exhibition Director said.          

Competition designer and Black Hat chef Gary Farrell notes that the competition is “not about practice, it’s not about dishes that have been done several times, it’s pure raw talent -- a competition designed by chefs for chefs.”  

Competitors are required to create a series of dishes such as tapas or appetisers using one central ingredient. “The competitor’s job is to use the ingredient wisely, to reflect a variety of different techniques, flavours and textures,” Mr Farrell explains.  

This challenges chefs to think on their feet as they only get one opportunity to shop for ingredients and they must come up with an inventive idea. In essence, the competition aims to expose the overall talent of each chef in terms of creativity, the ability to perform under pressure, and pure cooking talent.  

So far entrants include Soren Lascelles, Head chef at Assiette restaurant Sydney and winner of the event in 2010 and Cancino, Alejandro Jose, who for the last 10 years has been working with some of the best chefs in the world, including Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain and Luca Fantin at Bulgari Tokyo.  

The competition will be held over three days at the Foodservice Australia Expo from May 27th to 29th at the Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, Sydney.      

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