Young chefs step up to the plate to scoop bronze win

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - LIFESTYLE - Doug Con­way

THEY came, they cooked and they con­quered. Mt Druitt chefs Pa­tri­cia Da­cayo and Chelsea Wil­liams have won a prized bronze medal in Aus­tralia’s old­est culi­nary com­pe­ti­tion.

Com­pet­ing for the first time against many more sea­soned chefs, they stepped up to the plate to take home a gong in the 2016 Nes­tle Golden Chef’s Hat award.

“The judges said our dishes were the most com­pli­cated,” said Ms Wil­liams, an 18-year-old ap­pren­tice chef, who, like her part­ner, works at the Amora Ho­tel Jami­son in Syd­ney’s CBD.

They pre­pared four main cour­ses and four desserts in 90 min­utes, as they went hat-to-hat with 21 other pairs from around NSW at the Ryde TAFE.

Their bronze-win­ning menu in­cluded mains of pan fried chateaubriand, carpac­cio of short ribs with ri­cotta, mush­room sphere, minia­ture legumes and thyme port jus, and desserts of caramel flan, crushed al­mond pra­line, coconut par­fait, and grape­fruit gel and rhubarb coulis.

The com­pe­ti­tion for un­der-25s in­cluded high­er­ranked com­mis chefs and demi chefs.

“I think they had a lit­tle ad­van­tage,” said 22-year-old Ms Da­cayo. “Ev­ery­body else seemed to know each other. They also brought along their own equip­ment.”

“It was a real eye-opener, and I’m grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to learn,” Ms Wil­liams said.

The two plan to have an­other crack next year.

Aus­tralian Culi­nary Fed­er­a­tion com­pe­ti­tion di­rec­tor Deb Fore­man said: “Putting your­self up to be judged among your peers is tough. We know they will all take a lot from the ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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