29 August 2012

Grand Final of Australia's largest apprentice chef culinary competition

Grand Final of Australia's largest apprentice chef culinary competition rewards tomorrow's chefs with $17,000 worth of prizes.
Yesterday (28th August 2012) saw the culmination of several months worth of regional heats in NSW, ACT and VIC with the Grand Final of the 2012 HTN Apprentice Chef Culinary Competition.

The Grand Final was hosted by TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Ryde College who supplied three kitchens for the 27 competitors to compete against each other.

Each of the Grand Finalists had already won their regional heat in their year and pocketed industry prizes including vouchers from long time supporter Fraser and Hughes.  The prizes at the Grand Final were on display for added incentive to succeed and included hampers from Krio Krush, books from Meat & Livestock Australia and Futura Training and a Scooter. 

Each kitchen hosted an apprentice year and was overseen by a total of 10 highly experienced judges hand selected from HTN and industry and included HTN's Official Patron Peter Howard.

Each competitor was required to present a three course menu suitable for service of a fine dining standard.  All 1st and 2nd Year Apprentices were given a list of ingredients and a menu one month in advance while the 3rd Year Apprentices had a mystery box and were required to select their ingredients and create a menu on the day. 
HTN also used this event to thank the corporate sponsors for their ongoing support throughout 2012. 

The results of the Grand Final were:
1st Year Apprentices
1st Place: James Milazzo - Tetsuya
2nd Place: Felicity Dunstan - The Bathers Pavilion (HTN Apprentice)
3rd Place: Ling Ying Huang - Diplomat Canberra's Boutique Hotel
Merit: Peter Tavernese - Ripples at Chowder Bay (HTN Apprentice)
2nd Year Apprentices
1st Place: Rosie Firth - Royal Canberra Golf Club
2nd Place: Rod Parbery - The Sebel Parramatta
3rd Place: Cecilia Tibbertsma - Gastronomy
Merit: George Mirosevich - Silo Restaurant and Lounge (HTN Apprentice)
3rd Year Apprentices
 1st Place: Emma Chedzey - The Crystal Room Restaurant
 2nd Place: Thomas Boyd - Restaurant Mason
 3rd Place: Lily Dowden - Grazing Restaurant
 Merit: Fuji Taukatelata - Campbelltown Golf Club (HTN Apprentice)
Winner of the Encouragement Award: Kirra Parsons - Vicolo
Felicity Dunstan of Bathers Pavilion was the HTN Apprentice with the highest points on the day and therefore won a Motor Scooter and Helmet valued at $3,000.  
Congratulations to all 27 competitors and the above winners.
HTN is a not for profit, group training organisation established by industry, for industry to employ hospitality apprentices and trainees and thus return to industry highly qualified skilled technicians for tomorrow.  HTN now employs hundreds of apprentice chefs and hospitality trainees throughout NSW, VIC and the ACT and is the leading hospitality specific group employer in Australia.

28 August 2012

Visiting chefs prepare farewell dinner in vineyard


As the sun slipped down below the western hills across Okanagan Lake, wisps of smoke rose from the barbecue amongst the grapevines, eggplants and fruit trees at the Djordjevich family’s Stoney Paradise organic farm in East Kelowna.

Seated around a linen-draped table, silhouettes of a couple of dozen guests could be seen enjoying a meal made almost entirely from locally-sourced products, most of which were picked that day from the vines, plants and trees that surrounded the clearing where dinner was served.

Organized by the Okanagan Chefs Association, it was a farewell dinner for the four junior chefs from all across Canada, prepared by those young people in thanks for the hospitality shown during their two-week exchange visit.

Each also contributed a unique item brought from their home culinary region to the dishes they prepared, including red lentils, maple syrup, mustards and sunflower seeds.

Melanie Robinson of Muskoka, Candice Edonomakos of Toronto, Kimberley Knourek of Regina and Ryan Baker from Lethbridge agreed the most remarkable concept they would take home with them was one thing they found is done quite differently in the Okanagan.

“Everything here comes straight from the fields to the restaurants,” explained Baker, who said he was heading home to create a garden outside the kitchen of the restaurant where he works.

Armed with their broader knowledge of Okanagan cuisine after a week touring game ranches, organic gardens and orchards, cheesemakers, wineries such as Mission Hill and Quails’ Gate and working in restaurant kitchens such as RauDZ Regional Table, the Grapevine at Gray Monk Estate Winery, the Bistro at Summerhill and the Wild Apple at Manteo—all agreed that fresh is best.

This was the first of what will become an annual exchange for junior chefs from across Canada, organized by the Canadian Culinary Federation and sponsored by Saputo, to provide an opportunity for them to explore a new culinary region. Next year it will be hosted by Prince Edward Island chefs.

Dinner guests included local chefs Willi Franz, Rod Butters, Geoffrey Couper, Jesse Croy, Roger Sleiman and Jon Garratt as well as special guest and president of the CCFCC, Donald Gyurkovits from Vancouver.

26 August 2012

Formation of The Young Chefs Club in South Africa

Welcome aboard our new Young Chefs Club from South Africa! :)
Go on... click on the picture link and LIKE their Facebook page to get updates.

25 August 2012

Parent’s Day Gala Dinner 2012

Parent’s Day Gala Dinner 2012

“Una Noche Fantastico Latino Americano”

“Welcome to the Parent’s Day!” that words were mostly heard for 5 days, from 13-17 July 2012. We, the students of Trisakti Institute of Tourism just held an event for our parents as a small token of all they have given to us, their unconditional love, their encouragement, their knowledge and their financial assistance in allowing us to pursue a rewarding career in the hospitality industry in the near future. 

The main point of this event is to reconcile the broken relationship and to strengthen the bond between parents and children. 180 guests a day, 4 course menu at IDR250,000 per guest. Our the team planned all from scratch until we could serve the best of us at this event. And I had the good fortune of playing a part in the kitchen team of this event.

Our General Manager, Bryan Octavianus, took Latin America as our event’s theme. For us the kitchen team, that theme is kind of interesting yet challenging. 7 months is the time limit for us to look for the best suppliers, sponsorships, and creating the menu! While we also still need to do our daily routine classes.

Our team comprises of 15 staff: Executive Chef, Sous Chef, CDP appetizer, CDP soup, CDP Main Course, Demi Chef for each section, and Commi for each section. We face many problems on our way to success. We didn’t trust each other as a team, we didn’t support each other, and that problems drove us down. Thanks God, we had advisors that could help us solve our internal problems. Mr.Bondan Pambudi, Rendy Kongs, Johardi, our lecturers, our seniors that had been chosen as our advisors. Since we are still unprofessional Chef nor Cook, literally, we need a lot of advice from them to help us. Through the course, we learned to support and to trust each other, and collectively worked as a team.

A month to “D” day, we had finally fixed our menu! We had Tropicana Empanadas for our appetizer Green Peas Soup; Stuffed Tex-mex Chicken for our Main Course; and Poppy Seed Cake Mango Mousse as the dessert. However, we were short on funds to sustain the event, and that was a big headache for us. We were responsible for this event, and we had to persevere to make it work.

By faith, we continued to hold our event to fulfill our passion of giving our parents something, that they will keep in memory forever. Day 1 went quite well but still not good enough, our food tasted good, but we didn’t get the speed. Day 2 was much better, food tasted good, speed was good but, we had to loose our Sous Chef, Miki who had to fly to Bali the next morning for an internship. We lost one of our valuable staff, we’re lost some of our power.
Day 3 was like a “hell” day, everything looked good until the event started. We forgot to recheck the food, so we found the mashed potato spoilt, and that was frustrating, our service began to slow down, and was even worse than our first day. We felt we let down the parents who came at that day (my parents came that day too). We were visibly upset, we cried because we failed to run this job smoothly. But, our teammates from other department cheered us on and encouraged us to move forward, and that lifted up our spirits to fight for the rest of the event.

Day 4, we were doing the best service, our food tasted very good (the guest said), we caught up the speed, and we finished very good! Amazingly good, in fact. Yay! We continued preparing some stuff till late night that day, and we enjoyed working together as a team, we sang, we dance, we shared jokes while prepping for tomorrow’s service.

Day 5, the last day of our events, 3 VVIP tables, from representatives of Education Ministries, representatives of the institute, sponsors, lecturers, and 15 others VIP tables of our parents! Heartbeats were pumping at exponential rate, we needed to make sure everything would go as smooth as silk. And guess what? We had done it perfectly! We were super happy! All our guests were impressed with the services! From the front office staff, cake shop products, the shows, the menu, the food, the waiters, everything was just perfect. And there’s another surprise, we had more than enough money to pay our bills! What a relieving day it was!

That’s our 7-month long story of struggles and challenges, condensed into an article. 5 days fighting in our own warzone, and a moment of victory defeating and even defying our very own limits. We took great pride in our success, and our parents were proud of our achievements. We will keep making them proud. For me, it’s been a learning curve journey with the kitchen team, a concoction of happiness, sadness, anger, everything I felt with this team just brought me closer to them,  I knew I had a new family, a family that supports each other no matter what mistakes we made, but will fight together to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt blessed being a part of them, and I love my Kitchen team!
Patrese Vito
Student @ Trisakti Institute of Tourism
Jakarta, Indonesia