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Australia Dinner

Perth, August 20, 2013

Annual ‘All Chefs’ Dinner of the Bailliage of Western Australia

Chaîne members and their guests filled the Restaurant Petite Mort, owned by Maître Rôtisseur Todd Stuart a renowned Perth chef on a cold, wet August evening to enjoy a winter feast. Perfect weather for the occasion! Traditional European dishes from Poland, Italy, Germany, France and England reinvented in Chef Todd’s trademark deconstructed, minimalist style was the attraction.

Michael Hull, the Bailliage of Western Australia’s Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition winner and third in the National Competition accompanied  Chef Todd in the kitchen as part of the process undertaken by the Bailliage of Western Australian to develop young talent in the hospitality industry.
                                                                                                                            photo (c) Restaurant Petite Mort

Selected students from Challenger Institute’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Training were given the opportunity to provide the service at this Annual ‘All Chefs’ Dinner.
Previously many guest chefs would have been in the kitchen – hence the ‘All Chefs’ title for the event. This year we were delighted that all the chefs were our ‘off duty’ guests:

•    Chef Michael Canavan, formerly at Marco Pierre White’s L’Escargot in London
       and now a Chef Lecturer at Challenger Institute
•    Chef Matt Horne, Banquets and Conventions Chef at Crown Entertainment Centre
•    Chef Michael Illari, The Terrace Hotel
•    Chef Luccio Macchia, previously of Choux Café, now a Chef Lecturer at Challenger Institute
•    Chef Padraig O’Brien, previously with the Marriott Hotel Group in Michigan and the Cayman Islands,
        now a Chef Lecturer at Challenger Institute
•    Chef Gerhard Steiner, previously of the Rex Hotel in Canberra, now a Chef Lecturer at Challenger Institute
•    Chef Paul Zammit, formerly of the Twisted Fork, now Head Chef of Mosmans Restaurant

Which was the favourite dish? Discussions were animated as to whether it was the handmade silverside served atypically as two cubes, one standing atop the other; the gnocchi surrounding a 60 minute slow-poached egg crowned with fresh Manjimup truffle; the moist pork loin accompanied by a crispy crackling-like slice of beef tongue; the quail and duck neck rolls set out amidst a pretty and colourful assortment of vegetables and sauces; or the delightfully light yet flavoursome deconstructed lemon meringue pie.
Liberal amounts of Weihenstephan beer, French and Italian wines and even pear schnapps to ward off the winter chill provided perfect accompaniments.

Even the unofficial sixth course, the petit fours, drew its admirers, with its delightfully light and moist madeleines, chocolate truffles in a jar and salty caramel macarons.

Before the dessert courses were served, we enjoyed a tremendously entertaining charity auction performance from Vice-Chargé de Missions Simon Devlin and celebrity auctioneer Officier Peter Clements.

Simon explained the twin causes of the ACCR and the Western Australian Bailliage’s Youth Development Fund and announced the array of generously donated auction items, including:

•    a dozen Henschke wines from Bailli Délégué Jannece Tapsall
•    a magnificent set of professional cookware from Silit Distributors in conjunction with the Home Providore
      in Fremantle
•    dining and accommodation packages from Chaîne member organisations Crown Promenade Perth
      and The Terrace Hotel
•    The Ultimate Steak Sandwich Experience from Chaîne member Daniel Gomer of Hippo Creek
•    a Private Cigar and Scotch Whisky Masterclass from Simon Devlin and Peter Clements, bringing together fine Cuban
      cigars from Devlin's Cigar Divan and one-off rare single malt whiskies from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
      (of which Peter is the State Manager).

Finally furiously competitive bidding commenced for a magnificent Chef-at-home experience where Conseiller Culinaire Phil Westwood, with a team of chefs and wait staff, would cook and serve a 3 course meal for 8 people at your home!

Peter conducted the auction in fine form, squeezing out the highest bids for each item. The evening in total raised $12,000 for the Youth Development Fund and the ACCR compared to $3,500 raised at the 2011 All Chef’s Dinner.

As a result the Bailliage of Western Australian has funds to support the Australian competitor at all stages of the 2014 Jeunes Commis Competition.
These funds will also be spent on enabling our promising young chefs to experience the art of fine cuisine outside the kitchen: at the dining table of member restaurants thus broadening their experience and understanding.

Ending this wonderful evening of fine food and camaraderie saw the traditional presentation of the kitchen and front of house staff before diners, who were given the chance to ask questions on how the food had been prepared and express their warm appreciation.

Chef Michael Hull told the diners how this experience had changed his perspective: his previous experience being the preparation of banquet meals to large numbers of people whilst this evening had opened his eyes to the possibilities and broader boundaries of preparing fine cuisine for a smaller number of people.
Despite the apparent small portions of each dish everyone was perfectly sated. Handmade chocolates prepared by Chef Luccio and his students at Challenger Institute were the take-home party bag!

Melvin Yeo, Chargé de Presse

Photo (c) Restaurant Petite Mort