Ask Peter Howard AM

Posted on August 7, 2019 , No comments

Over this last weekend, I participated in the Queensland Professional Chef of the Year 2019 competition at the Food & Hospitality Queensland Expo in Brisbane – August 4 -5); I was the MC for the two-day event.

As usual, it was so very exciting and just amazing to watch brilliant young Chefs at work as they had to prepare and present 2 courses (4 plates for each course) in one hour from surprise ingredients. An hour goes so quickly in this event. The winner was Chef Matthew Lee from the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre and it was his third time to compete in this marvelous event conducted by Tim Collett of Specialised Events. He and his team are dedicated to running the best events.

As I watched the Chefs and the judges at work, I got that this whole process of competing was dedication in action. The competitors, the judges, the organisers (Chef Gary Farrell and his wife Renee), the audience – they are all dedicated to the cause of bringing Chefs to the forefront of the Hospitality Industry.

So what do I mean by dedication? Surely it is just another competition. Well no, it isn’t because so much time and effort goes into making a competition like this work and believe me, this competition works not only in Brisbane but also in Sydney and Melbourne at the FSA Show.

Sponsors are found (Unox Ovens and Australian Pork are Gold Sponsors), competitors are found. 98 Chefs applied for Brisbane and 28 were chosen and they had to dedicate time to practice their dishes and then to be at the event itself…get time off work etc and in the case of 3 Chefs, travel from Cairns at their own expense – dedication to cooking for sure.

Judges volunteer and they had to be top-notch because of the caliber of the Chefs they are judging. The Chair of Judges was Chef Karen Doyle (LCB and President of ACF) with fellow Judges Chefs Paul Rifkin, Andre Kropp, and Shane Keighley. Now, these guys epitomised dedication to me as they tasted 64 dishes over two days and adjudicated. They were on their feet all day (as Chefs they are used to it) and they had to concentrate all the time as they judged.

I come back the point that to get such an important competition together, there has to be organisation and dedication from all involved and I saw it again as I MC this event regularly. With everyone who participated, I saw dedication and love…passion if you like and that is what we all need if we are going to be Chefs in this competitive business.

Compete in Sydney in 2020 -email [email protected]  for information.



David CoxeterAsk Peter Howard AM