First published on 19 Jun 2013. Updated on 3 Dec 2013.
They came, they cooked, they conquered. Last night was the first ever Time Out Melbourne Taste Test and it went off like a frog in a sock.
Last night, six of Melbourne’s most talented apprentices battled it out in the kitchens of the Stokehouse Café, while a 130-strong crowd of diners ate their way through six courses and voted in a champion.
“This competition isn't easy,” says Time Out Melbourne's Food and Drink Editor, Gemima Cody. “The apprentices are charged with conceiving of and costing an original dish that they have to prepare in a stranger’s kitchen for 130 diners – that's terrifying even for a hardened professional. But impressively, they all pulled it off.”
It was Myles Stack from the European restaurant who won out on the night, pulling the most votes for his fillets of pan fried snapper with an eggplant caviar, squid ink tamara and cuttlefish fricassee.
Aside from rolling home on a wave of glory, he also scored some nifty swag. Stack will be off to Sydney for four nights where he'll stay at The Darling Hotel and complete stages at two of The Star’s premium restaurants. He also took home a bundle of cookbooks from Murdoch; a Sodastream; a magnum of Henkell sparkling wine: a winner’s apron and $100 voucher from the crew at Cooksshop and some sweet gear from Breville including a spring bowl and a Shun Premiere Santoku knife.
Taking out the runner up position was Michael Frenkiel from Coda restaurant who also took home a Sodastream, a bottle of Henkell, a custom apron and a $75 voucher from Cooksshop. All the competitors took home new aprons and piccolo packs of Henkell sparkling wine.
“Everyone was impressed,” says Cody. “Submitting your creative work to be judged by strangers is brave, and for these apprentices to do so at the start of their career shows they’ve got what it takes to go far in a really tough industry.”
It was a great night for everyone on both sides on the kitchen pass, and a big thank you goes out to all who made it possible – especially our talented finalists Alex Kavanaugh, Sidney Tor, Naomi McGovern, and Mia Boland, and of course our winner and runner up Myles Stack and Michael Frenkiel.
Stay tuned for next year's Taste Test which promises to be an even bigger cage match of kitchen underdogs. Bring it on.
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