Young Australian chefs compete in WA for world final
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
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In a Master Chef-style contest at Challenger TAFE’s world-class training restaurant, five young chefs from around the country recently competed to represent Australia at the prestigious Young Cooks competition in New York later this year.
The Young Cooks (Jeunes Commis National Rôtisseurs) competition is an annual highlight of the La Chaîne de Rôtisseurs organisation, the world’s oldest gastronomic association that has evolved from the 12th century royal guild of goose roasters and now brings together cooks and enthusiasts of fine wine and cuisine.
The final was a tight contest, with one of Challenger TAFE’s own graduates Robert Withnall, winning the silver medal. Robert, a chef at Emma’s on the Boardwalk in Rockingham, had previously won two bronze medallions in the Young Cooks competition.
Challenger TAFE hospitality program manager Markus Beuke, who was inducted as a member of La Chaîne de Rôtisseurs on the day, said it was an honour for the College to host an event belonging to one of the most celebrated culinary organisations in the world.
“The Young Cooks competition supports chefs under the age of 27 from around the world by giving them the opportunity to develop and showcase their skills in a competitive environment with their peers,” Markus said.
“The five contestants had four hours to prepare a three-course meal for four people using seasonal ingredients contained in a mystery basket. They did not know what ingredients they could use until they were given the basket.
“Their dishes were presented to a panel of judges who ranked each meal on taste, presentation and originality. Scores were also given for cleanliness and organisation in the kitchen.”
Mr Beuke said it was the first time WA had hosted a national Young Cooks event, and the privilege was testament to Challenger TAFE’s excellent facilities and award-winning restaurant standards.
Quinlan’s Training Restaurant received a Gold Plate Award in 2004 and 2007, and produced the 2007 WA Apprentice of the Year. The Wild Rose, Challenger’s training restaurant in Mandurah, opened last year and has already been named a Gold Plate finalist.
The winner of the competition was South Australian Lachlan Colwill who will compete in the international finals at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City in September.