Judging Team Announced for Chef of the Year Competition

As the deadline for entries draws near, Competition Director for 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,” explains Farrell. “It’s also very useful to have some fresh eyes and palates appearing for heats, semi-finals and the grand finale.”

Farrell says the guest chefs joining the competition 27-29 May 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, Chef owner of Bloodwood in Sydney and Popla in Bellingen.

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

Farrell adds that 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 adds.

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 says 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.”

Entries for Chef of the Year close 9pm Tuesday 1 May.

Foodservice Australia 2018
ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour
Open 10am-5pm for three days only:
Sunday 27 May, Monday 28 May, Tuesday 29 May.

For more information on the show, exhibitors, special events and registration visit www.foodserviceaustralia.com.a... or call Specialised Events on 03 9999 5460.

This is a trade only event, entry is restricted to those over 16 who work in the food or hospitality industry.

The judges:

John McFadden recently joined Criniti’s, a family-owned and fast-growing Italian restaurant group, as Executive Chef. This will be the seventh time he has judged Chef of the Year, and he says it is exciting to see the depth of talent shown by chefs, and how the bar is raised year on year. He has over three decades experience in hospitality, most recently at Trippas White Group and Pan Pacific Group.

Adam Moore is ranked as one of the world’s top corporate chefs, and has over 25 years’ experience in restaurants, foodservice, retail, food manufacturing, marketing and sales. He has worked with some of the biggest names in Australian foodservice including Mars Australia, George Weston Foods, Suntory, Campbell Arnotts and most recently Cerebos.

Nick Whitehouse is Executive Chef at The Epping Club and has 20 years’ experience, in both Michelin-starred restaurants in England and acclaimed restaurants in Sydney. Arriving in Australia in 2009, he has worked at Koi, Flying Fish and Wildfire, before joining The Epping Club in 2016.