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As the deadline for entries draws near, Competition Director for Foodservice Australia 2018 Chef of the Year Gary Farrell has announced a stellar lineup of judges for the event.

Head Judge John McFadden returns to lead the core judging team, which also includes experienced chefs Adam Moore and Nick Whitehouse. In addition there will be guest judges each day of the competition, and revered chef Peter Howard, one of Australia’s first ‘celebrity chefs’, returns as competition MC.

“It is important to have consistency of judging with three chefs across every heat over the three days,” explained Farrell. “It’s also very useful to have some fresh eyes and palates appearing for heats, semi-finals and the grand finale.”

Farrell said the guest chefs joining the competition include 2016 winner Matthew Weller, Karen Doyle from Le Cordon Bleu Sydney, Julio Azzerello from Gourmand Providore, Steve Belcher from Le Cordon Bleu Sydney and Claire Van Vuuren, owner of Bloodwood in Sydney and Popla in Bellingen.

“This is a highly regarded and also highly competitive event,” said Farrell. “We have received more than 120 entries and need to narrow it down to 32 finalists.”

Australian Pork is supporting Chef of the Year for the first time and competitors can expect to see various cuts of pork in their mystery boxes. “It will be great to have Claire Van Vuuren, part of this year’s ‘Porkstar’ campaign, on board to judge in the semi-finals and grand final on Tuesday,” he added.

Chef of the Year 2018 is also presented by Chobani and Unox. Produce will be supplied by PFD and uniforms by Alsco. Organisers also appreciate support from Robot Coupe and ICC Sydney.

John McFadden said chefs are judged not only on the finished dishes, but also their technique, hygiene, food safety practices and benchwork. “I think this is a remarkable opportunity for chefs, it’s all about your technical ability being applied in a tight timeframe, it really pushes your boundaries.”