Imagine Student Cooking Competition 2017

05 December 17


Imagine Education’s purpose-built commercial cookery kitchen at our Ashmore Campus was the perfect setting for our own personal Masterchef, when we held the first ever Imagine Education Student Cooking Competition on Tuesday 24th November.

Eleven competitors from our Faculty of Hospitality had just 90 minutes to create the perfect dish in the mystery box style challenge, and impress the tough judging line-up, who included trainers from our Faculty of Hospitality and our special guest judge, acclaimed chef and restaurateur, Daniel Ridgeway of the Ridgeway Group.

Our Chief Organiser and Hospitality trainer, Vicki Tiedeman, introduced the judges and ran over the rules before officially declaring the competition started.

The 90 minutes began and the mystery box ingredients were revealed, with barramundi, prawns, and chocolate on the menu. The students had a number of other basic pantry ingredients to work with too, and with brains racing to come up with possible dishes to make the mystery box ingredients shine, the competitors excitedly collected their ingredients and raced back to their stations to begin.

You could feel the intensity in the room (and smell all the mouth-watering dishes) over the next 90 minutes as students raced against the clock to create their dishes, while the judges walked around the stations chatting to the competitors and carefully noting key criteria of the judging, including cleanliness of station, techniques used, and cost effectiveness and nutritional balance amongst others.

From the beginning the judges were impressed with the skill of the students with judge Daniel Ridgeway noting that, “so far today I’m seeing fantastic techniques I wasn’t expecting. I’m really looking forward to seeing the end product!”

Amazing looking dishes from each competitor quickly began to take shape with an array of different techniques and dishes being showcased.  The competitors reflected the diversity of Imagine’s student body with nationalities from all over the world competing, and this in turn was reflected in the dishes.

With the clock quickly ticking down and only 5 minutes to go, the dishes started to make their way up to the judging table and what a sight!

Amongst the mouth-watering dishes were steamed barramundi with roasted potatoes and carrots, butterflied prawns with spicy lemon sauce, sweet and sour barramundi, and delicious chocolate tarts.

After a long deliberation the judges declared that the standards were so high that that a top three was selected, before Pete Charoenpornpanichkul from Thailand was named overall winner and champion.

Pete was the unanimous winner because the judges noted he his “processes were methodical, he was economical with the ingredients, for example using the bones to create stocks, and he showed professionalism from beginning to end.”

The Advanced Diploma of Hospitality student couldn’t have been more thrilled saying he was very excited and surprised to come away with the title. For his win Pete’s name has been engraved on the winner’s trophy, and he received a medal and a BiN restaurant voucher.

We would like to congratulate him for his excellent dishes and a very well-deserved win!

Rowan Hinton, General Manager of our Ashmore Campus, said he was impressed with the competitors saying, “the students had a wonderful morning and loved the cooking competition. They all worked very hard and made some fantastic dishes that the judges through were great!”

We are so excited to bring the next Imagine Student Cooking Competition next year!

To view our photo album from the competition click here.