Lo­cal chefs cut the mus­tard

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - By CORAL COOKSLEY

TWO as­pir­ing In­digo Shire chefs took out medals in a pres­ti­gious Aus­tralian com­pe­ti­tion held in Mel­bourne last week.

Com­pet­ing in the AUS-TAFE 2018 Culi­nary Tro­phy State fi­nal against Vic­to­ria’s best, Rory Stones, a sec­ond year apprentice from Ruther­glen’s Ripe at Buller Wines, claimed a sil­ver medal, with first year apprentice Lor­raine Spargo from Star Ho­tel Yackan­dan­dah, a bronze.

Rory also scored over­all sec­ond place for sec­ond year apprentice chefs in the state at the com­pe­ti­tion.

The apprentice chefs who are study­ing com­mer­cial cook­ery at Wodonga TAFE had both won bronze medals in the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion fi­nals held by the ed­u­ca­tion provider last month.

Their win qual­i­fied them for a place to rep­re­sent the re­gion in the prized state con­test held at the ‘Fine Food Aus­tralia’ trade ex­hi­bi­tion in the Mel­bourne Con­ven­tion and Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

“It’s ex­cit­ing to see such tal­ented ap­pren­tices from our re­gion step up to hold their own and be recog­nised,” Wodonga TAFE’s cook­ery and patis­serie teacher Sarah Whitling said

Mr Stones said the com­pe­ti­tions en­cour­aged peo­ple to strive for a goal.

“The wins are a proof of my skills,” the 19year old said.

En­joy­ing the Mel­bourne event, Mr Stones said in­sight was gained into what other apprentice chefs were do­ing too.

With an aim to own a restau­rant some­time in the fu­ture, he said trav­els to coun­tries such as Ja­pan, France and the United King­dom were on his list for work ex­pe­ri­ence and learn­ing as a chef.

Yackan­dan­dah ca­reer changer Lor­raine Spargo said her achieve­ments helped val­i­date what she was learn­ing.

The 43 year-old said she loved the cre­ative side of cook­ing, and mak­ing peo­ple happy through pro­vid­ing an en­joy­able culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence.

An­other stu­dent and sec­ond year apprentice chef at Beech­worth’s Em­pire Ho­tel, Stephen Kla­fu­ric from Wodonga, also won a bronze medal at the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion.

Un­able to com­pete in the state fi­nal at the last minute due to ill­ness, the 27 year-old said he had been work­ing to­wards the Mel­bourne com­pe­ti­tion since the start of this year. “Hope­fully I’ll make it next year,” he said. Ms Whitling said the TAFE teach­ing team was very proud of their stu­dents.

“They put in many hours of ex­tra ef­fort and train­ing to be ready for this cook­ery chal­lenge and per­formed well in the fi­nal’s high-pres­sure en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

She also said the AUS-TAFE com­pe­ti­tions pro­vided stu­dents with more ex­po­sure to in­dus­try ex­pec­ta­tions and net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties too.

State fi­nal win­ners com­pete in the na­tional fi­nal later this year.

WIN­NERS: Taste Ruther­glen and Ripe and Bulla’s sec­ond year apprentice chef Rory Stones (sec­ond left) and Star Ho­tel Yackan­dan­dah’s first year apprentice chef Lor­raine Spargo (right) with Ben­jamin Warhurst from Wodonga’s Bean Sta­tion and Chelsea McGuire from Brick Lane in Al­bury.

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