The Hunter Culinary Association (HCA) 7th Annual Food Fight was a day to remember as 375 diners enjoyed being served 2,200 dishes from some of the country’s highest calibre chefs.
Guests dug deep to raise over $34,000 to support industry scholarship funds and Australia’s leading food rescue charity, OzHarvest.
HCA Chairman Ben Neil was overwhelmed by the generosity of members and guests who came to enjoy the delicious feast and ‘food fight’ between some of Australia’s best chefs.
“All of the guests were astounded at the ingenuity and quality of the dishes and it made it extremely hard for them to vote for a winner but I am delighted to announce that the Hunter team won the day’s battle,” Ben said.
The two teams were made up of four chefs each and each team makes three courses, all sampled and voted on by the lucky diners.
The winning Hunter ‘home’ team of Troy Rhoades-Brown (Muse Dining), Chris Thornton (Restaurant Mason), Gareth Robbs (Bistro Molines) and Josh Gregory (EXP. Restaurant) battled it out course for course against a team of Sydney-based hopefuls.
The high profile ‘away’ team was reunited from their days working at the iconic three- hatted Banc Restaurant in Sydney. They were Colin Fassnidge (4Fourteen), Matt Kemp (Q Station), Warren Turnbull (Chur Burger), and Justin North (Hotel Centennial Woollahra).
This year was a first for both My Kitchen Rules judge Colin Fassnidge and celebrity chef Matt Kemp as they took turns moonlighting in the kitchen and hosting on stage to ensure the apprentices, chefs and guests were well entertained.
“Of course each team wants to win and we worked hard to put together some fantastic dishes to delight the guests,” Colin said.
“The Food Fight is always a great event and this year was extra special as Matt and I had the opportunity to reunite with old friends and give the Hunter chefs a run for their money! In spite of all the competiveness and banter we do still help each other out, have some laughs and enjoy the fact we are supporting the next generation of culinary talent.”
All funds raised at the live auction will be put towards The Brett Graham Scholarship fund which allows for an up and coming apprentice chef to travel and gain priceless experiences overseas, as well as other HCA scholarships and initiatives that focus on assisting the regions talent as well as contributing to the greater development of the industry,
In a first for HCA, $3,000 from this year’s proceeds will go to food rescue charity OzHarvest to provide 6,000 meals for those in need.
“We are delighted with the results of this year’s Food Fight and that the amount raised will help us to foster new talent in the region, continue the work we do to promote the Hunter and be used to help people in need of a hot meal,” Ben concluded.
Image | Chris Thornton (Restaurant Mason), Josh Gregory (EXP. Restaurant), Troy Rhoades-Brown (Muse), Garreth Robbs (Bistro Molines)