It was a gastronomic battle to be remembered when four of
the country’s best up-and-coming chefs went head-to-head in the kitchen on
Monday last week for the Hunter Culinary Association’s (HCA) annual Food Fight.
Each had previously shared the honour of cooking beside the
legendary Brett Graham at his acclaimed London restaurant The Ledbury, but
there could only be one winner among the alumni and on the day, this year’s
title went to Thomas Boyd for his milk parfait, macadamia, honey and thyme
Thomas Boyd's winning dish: Milk parfait, macadamia, honey and thyme dessert
The annual Food Fight is the HCA’s signature event and this
year’s – the tenth – certainly did not disappoint. It was a clash of
champions that saw chefs Eilish Maloney (formerly Saint Peter, Paddington),
Thomas Boyd (Margan Restaurant), Troy Crisante (Quay) and George Mirosevich
(Restaurant Mason) muster their skills in the kitchen in an attempt to woo
diners and take home the prestigious honour.
More than 320 guests were served an incredible four-course
lunch at the event, with the chefs pulling out all stops to create a dish of
The first course was created by Eilish, who served dry-aged
snapper, last season’s birch-fermented tomatoes and preserved lemon. Troy’s
dish was the second course, a stunning ‘nduja with peas and black olive. The
third course, created by George, was a delicious roast and braised lamb with
garlic and Jerusalem artichoke, and dessert was Thomas’s mouth-watering milk
parfait, macadamia, honey and thyme.
Chef Thomas Boyd
HCA Chairman Gus Maher said the standard of the Food Fight
was ‘incredible’. ‘The quality of the food presented by each of the chefs was
impressive,’ he said. ‘What’s extra special about this event is that it not
only gives chefs a forum to showcase their talents, but the Food Fight auction
we hold on the day also raises money for our range of scholarships. The Brett
Graham Scholarship is one of those, providing a young chef the opportunity to
work with Brett Graham at The Ledbury – an incredible experience shared by
each of today’s chefs.’
‘Once again, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of
members and guests at the event which will change the course of an aspiring
chef’s career by giving them the opportunity of a lifetime.’
Another winner on the day was renowned Hunter Valley
restaurateur Andrew Wright of The Cellar Restaurant and The Wood Restaurant.
Andrew is a passionate advocate for the Hunter culinary industry and was one of
the co-founders of the Association. He was recognised and awarded with the
highest honour of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual.