Chefs Battle it out for Honour and $15,000 in Prizes

The ACF Victoria (Australian Culinary Federation Victoria) and naming sponsor, Fonterra Foodservices along with major sponsors Moffat Australia, Meat & Livestock Australia and Crown Casino will be presenting the 'Australian Culinary Challenge Victoria' in conjunction with Fine Food and Hotel Australia at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from 22nd - 25th September 2008. This year promises to be a truly great event. We are putting together a competition program to excite and stimulate the creative spirit in chefs and apprentices in Melbourne, with the support of our naming sponsor Fonterra Foodservices.

This year the Fonterra Foodservices competition restaurant will open for lunch-time service on each of the 4 days of the Challenge. Twelve teams, three each day, will compete for a share of $15,000 including a first prize of $10,000! Each team will produce a magnificent two course meal for 24 lucky diners. The head chef from each team will choose two Fonterra products to include in their dishes as they attempt to win the ultimate prize. The two products will be selected from Western Star Butter, Anchor Cooking Cream, Perfect Italiano Parmesan and Mainland Egmont Cheese

Each dish will be judged by an impartial panel of experienced chefs from around the globe. These judges include head judge Arnold Tanzer, WACS Continental Director Africa and Middle East, and Chair of the Judges, Kurt Von Buren, from NSW. The winner of the Fonterra Foodservices Culinary Challenge will join the ranks of past winners such as Vue De Monde and Team Western Australia, headed by Shane Keighly. The winning team will be announced on the Thursday at the Gala Awards evening, proudly sponsored by Crown Casino.

A new event this year will be the High Tea Challenge. Hotels, restaurants and training institutions are invited to battle each day for the 'High Tea Challenge' award.

The High tea Challenge involves teams of three members, chef and food & beverage personnel from any hotel, restaurant or hotel school recognised by the Australian Culinary Federation. Each team dresses a table for four; suitable for an 'Afternoon High Tea' with sandwiches, savouries, biscuits, petit fours and a selection of teas. One team member explains the service concept and menu during judging.

Every afternoon sees the live challenges continue. The first event after lunch is the 'TABASCO Fast & Fiery Live Challenge' - three new competitors will have one hour to produce a winning dish using the new TABASCO Chipotle Sauce with Meat & Livestock Australia beef or lamb at the centre of the plate.

Hot on the heels of this is the Seafood Live Challenge where, once again, three chefs each day have one hour to outsmart, outperform and outcook each other with a seafood product nominated by the Australian Culinary Federation Victoria.

On each day the final challenge is the Desserts Live Challenge. The winning chef will concoct the most exquisite, most enticing and delicious desert to make the judges swoon.

At the Gala Awards Evening, proudly sponsored by Crown Casino, we will be announcing the 'Chef of the Year'. The winner will join the ranks of previous winners such as Matt McBain, Executive Chef from Southern Golf Club. To win they must achieve gold in the 'TABASCO Fast & Fiery Live Challenge', the Seafood Live Challenge or the Desserts Live Challenge and also in the static display. A big ask, that only the best can achieve.

The winner of 'Chef of the Year' has the opportunity to represent Victoria in the national final of Global Chef to be held at Fine Food Perth in March 2009, with the national winner going to Sydney in September 2009 for the Asia Pacific title. The winner will then fly to Santiago, Chile to represent the Asia Pacific in the world final where the prize money is US$20, 000.

Moffat Australia will be fitting out the competition kitchens with their finest combi-ovens and blast chillers.

Chefs from Fonterra Foodservices will be demonstrating their exquisite pastry and glazing skills every morning at the demonstration corner. They will be followed each day by a different culinary art including sugar sculpture, ice sculpture and stunning chocolate making. Watch for further information on daily demonstrations and delicious tastings.

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