All the Regional winners travelled to Mildura for the Grand Final held on 8 September.
The kitchen at Sunraysia TAFE was set up in readiness. The closed circuit TV cameras were turned on to provide spectators in the restaurant with live action coverage of the competitors at work.
Students worked to prepare and present a three course meal of -
Spring vegetable soup with garlic toast
Roast Murray Cod with spinach, sultanas and pine nuts, finished with a Citrus Hollandaise
Mixed Berry Crepe
Five judges closely watched all aspects of preparation and cooking and then tasted the finished products. Judges were Stefano de Pieri of Stefano's, Rebecca Hart of Swan Hill Club, George Santos of Moama Bowling Club, Michael Stokes of Cobram Barooga Golf Club and Ross Graham of Goulburn Ovens TAFE.
The scores were tallied and the judges provided feedback and comments to each team. The judges were assessing the food against industry standards - what would be acceptable and saleable in their restaurants. All Grand Finalists were presented with certificates and copies of Stefano's book. Then the winning team was announced -
Emma and Mykaela of MacKillop College, Swan Hill.
The girls received copies of Gordon Ramsay's book, engraved knives (handy for aspiring chefs!) and will take the perpetual Red Gum trophy back to their school.
Congratulations to Mykaela and Emma and well done to all competitors who presented restaurant standard food in a setting that puts them under pressure and close scrutiny.
Our thanks to all the judges involved in various levels of the Challenge, and to our generous sponsors -
- Lindemans Wines, Mildura
- Swan Hill International College and Carriages Restaurant
- Moama Bowling Club
- Deniliquin RSL
- GV Hotel, Shepparton