May 23, 2019

Cooking for the Masses competition

Celebrating its third successful year, the Cooking for the Masses competition is the result of a partnership between catering and facilities provider to the Australian Defence Force, Broadspectrum.

The culinary competition brings together Australian Defence Force chefs and their catering partners, Broadspectrum and Compass Group, to step outside their day-to-day operations and accelerate their careers by learning new skills and creating amazing dishes.

“This competition is one of our highlight events of the year and is an outstanding example of the collaboration that can be achieved between our customers and supply partners,” Gavin Campbell, Executive General Manager Defence, Broadspectrum.

This year’s competition saw 80 participants compete regionally across eight cities, culminating in a fiercely contested national final cook-off held at HMAS Kuttabul in Potts Point, Sydney.

Five talented teams of two were flown to Sydney to compete in the national final, with representation from the Australian Navy and Air Force, Broadspectrum and Compass Group. The grand final began with a tour of Sydney’s fresh food markets, where the mystery box cook-off ingredients, which included flavour solutions from Nestlé Professional, were revealed. From there, finalist teams were required to create entrée, main and dessert dishes to impress the judging panel.

Team Air Force, Leading Aircraftwoman Daniele Rathbone and Leading Aircraftman Jin Won Seo from RAAF Base in Amberley, were awarded the 2019 national winners title.

Usually providing tasty meals for Australian Defence Force personnel, the competition saw the winners step out of their comfort zone and rise to the occasion, taking their cooking to the next level.

“We had 2.5 hours to prepare, cook and present a three-course meal,” LACW Daniele Rathbone said. “It all comes down to the food that you put up on the plate and it shows that we really gave it our best shot. We worked so well together and I’m really proud of my teammate, Jin.”

Their winning menu featured a standout main course dish of Korean BBQ lamb steak with BBQ lamb ribs, wok Asian greens and caramelised ginger.

The 2019 runners-up were Jeremy Hyder and Dean Matheson of Team Compass Group, RAAF Base Wagga. Their first-ever culinary competition, both are keen to compete in next year’s Cooking for the Masses and are hungry for a win.

“Cooking for the Masses is about pushing yourself to be a better chef. I think what is unique about the competition is that it allows chefs to be creative and energised in a way that is often difficult when under pressure and cooking for the masses,” Mark Clayton, Executive Chef, Nestlé Professional.

Image details: 1: CFTM 2019 national-winners & Scott-Stuckmann, NP Business Executive Officer. 2: CFTM 2019 finalist teams. Image 3: CFTM Sydney Markets Food Tour.


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