Late last month I was at Government House in Brisbane to receive my official AM – two medals and a pin and the citation. My AM is ‘for services to the food and wine tourism industry and to education and to institutions like the ACF’ In handing me the awards the Governor of Qld., Paul de Jersey, congratulated me on my contributions to industry and then went on to say, “I am so happy to see your industry getting well-deserved recognition.” And indeed that is correct – while I was awarded the honour of being named in the Order of Australia – General Division, I am very aware that I would not have been named without being in the Hospitality Industry. It is an Industry that has given me all and that should be awarded.
Somehow it feels strange to thank an industry but I do and I also acknowledge the depths of experiences I have had in the vast conglomerate have delivered me a very happy and satisfied man. So thanks to the Hospitality Industry. These sentiments are extended to the marvellous event delivered by HTN Board and friends who gathered to celebrate the award last Tuesday. Again echoing my thoughts on the last blog, all my friends are in and from the Hospitality Industry and so I was overjoyed to see so many people turn up to enjoy the HTN friendship. Thanks, HTN.
My great joy and privilege was to be involved in the Australian Professional Chef of the Year Competition at Foodservice Australia, Sydney at the ICC. How amazing to see these young Chefs cook and present such outstanding dishes in 1 hour. They had to produce an entrée and a main course (for 4 persons – so 8 plates in all) and so of the most brilliant food around. If you want to see the dishes, they are on FaceBook and Instagram for the Australian Professional Chef of the Year 2018.
This competition has been running since 2008 and has had several very well known Chefs have won – including Neil Abrahams the current President of the ACF National. Over three days, the Chefs worked with pork products from Murray Valley Pork (sponsored by Australian Pork) Chobani yoghurt and ovens and grills from Unox; PFD were also sponsors along with Robot Coupe (and their Robot Cook) and Alsco. It was one big celebration of sponsors products and Chefs – what a time. The competition demonstrates the sublime ability of your Chefs from all around Australia and their passion and technical know-how was very much on show. The winner was Chef Jack Lee from Victoria.
Thanks so much to Specialised Events (Tim Collett) and the crew for having me in attendance at the Competition. A great time!