Boronia chef, Ashley Sheppard, has beat-out almost 100 competitor cooks from across Australia and New Zealand to win the coveted title of 2014 Jamaica Blue Golden Cuisine Champion – for the third time!
Ashley won the title in 2011 and 2012 and was again declared “Champion” at the 2014 Jamaica Blue Golden Cuisine Grand Final Cook-Off event, recently held (on 31 July) at the FOODCO Training Academy in Sydney.
With six years of experience as a professional cook at the Jamaica Blue café at Knox City in Victoria, Ashley particularly impressed the competition judges with the taste, presentation and prompt delivery of a main course dish of Chicken Breast stuffed with Brie, Mushroom and Onion served on a bed of Sweet Potato and Cumin Puree, which he cooked on-site and under the pressure of time constraints.
Ashley’s show-stopping dish was created during a two and a half hour “Mystery Kitchen Challenge” that called on the six Grand Finalists to split into two teams, each briefed to design and serve a three-course à la carte menu that showcased dairy as a highlight ingredient of each dish.
Ashley also excelled in a number of individual challenges that included a demonstration of his knife skills and a blindfold test, where he correctly identified seven of 10 types of dairy product purely by smell and taste. Ashley also relied on his senses of taste, smell and touch to name seven of 10 types of chocolate and scored highly in a chocolate-focused quiz and chocolate-stencilling challenges.
In addition to being scored on their food knowledge, cooking techniques and the taste and presentation of dishes they served to the competition judging panel, the 2014 Jamaica Blue Golden Cuisine Grand Finalists were assessed on their compliance with food safety and hygiene standards, workflow and teamwork efficiency.
As well as the glory of the 2014 Jamaica Blue Golden Cuisine Champion title, Ashley has won a KitchenAid Bench Top Mixer worth AUD$750 and a $1,000 Visa Mastercard gift-voucher, which he intends use on travel.
The Jamaica Blue franchise brand is Australian-owned and operated by The Foodco Group.
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