Meridian Vocational College’s inaugural Culinary Competition was recently held at say.kitchen, where 12 up and coming chefs competed over two heats. As well as experienced chef and MVC CEO, Daman Rana, judges included SJYS CEO, Wendy Malycha and Aboriginal Cultural Broker, Alex Houthuysen (Hill).
‘Your perception about food changes when you have to judge it,’ said Alex. ‘When you’re sitting in a restaurant you might just think “that’s a nice meal” before tucking in, but when judging you need to look at the overall dish, technique, innovation, complexity, use of indigenous ingredients, whether the dish served on time – and the list goes on!.’
Alex was especially proud of Jacinta Bendessi’s win for Most Impressive Competitor for her delicious dish of kangaroo with roast vegetables with garlic butter. Jacinta is the recipient of a generous Meridian Vocational Scholarship for young aspiring chefs from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
‘We’re all so very proud of Jacinta,’ said Alex, who has mentored Jacinta throughout her scholarship. ‘She’s really found her direction and purpose, and this win demonstrates how much her culinary knowledge has excelled.’
Jacinta is the sister for SJYS alumnus, Lonny Bendessi, who has also an accomplished young chef.