Team South Burnett Going For Gold

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Team South Burnett Menu


Feuillantine of Bendele Farm organic duck liver parfait, ashed Kingaroy Cheese quark with rocket, pearl barley and blood orange salad and mulberry chutney

Barambah First Grid Chardonnay 2006

Pan fried Bottle Tree Hill free-range pork fillet, blue swimmer crab and pork crépinette with onion and sage cotton candy and homemade blush soy. Accompanied by twice-cooked pumpkin galette served with sea scallops, braised fennel and asparagus finished with creamy béarnaise sauce

Clovely Estate Reserve Shiraz 2005

South Burnett Medley of
Peanut and buttermilk panna cotta with balsamic rhubarb compote
Coconut and black sticky rice crème brulee
Passionfruit cream tartlet with orange butter sauce

Cranes Late Harvest Frontignac

*photos courtesy of The LifeStyle FOOD Channel

Monday, October 22, 2007

Team South Burnett Placed 8th

Team South Burnett
The results are in! Team South Burnett (*pictured above) received an email today informing them of their final placing in the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition. The team was overjoyed to discover they placed 8th in a field of 16 teams.
Team Captain Jason Ford said, "To outscore half of the competing teams is a great result, and a vast improvement on our 2003 placing". In 2003, Team South Burnett came 16th out of 24 teams.
Competition Chairman Mr Peter Howard told the team the standard of their menu was a 'Quantum Leap' on their 2003 entry, and the South Burnett region should be very proud of their effort".
*Photo Courtesy of The LifeStyle FOOD Channel

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Team South Burnett Attends Awards Night

Matthew McMurdy with Darren Simpson Maggie Beer with Helen Pratt

Team South Burnett finally had an opportunity to relax, when they attended the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition Awards Night. The Gala event was held at Adelaide Hyatt Regency ballroom.

The team had the opportunity to meet with many of the other regional teams that competed in the culinary competition, including Queensland's Team Gold Coast and Team Sirromet.

Also amongst the hundreds of dinner guests was a myriad of cookbook authors, TV personalities and celebrity chefs, such as Maggie Beer from ABC TV's 'The Cook and the Chef' (pictured above with Helen Pratt) and Seven Sunrise resident chef Darren Simpson (pictured above with Matthew McMurdy).

Unfortunately Team South Burnett did not place in the top three, but were satisfied to receive praise from members of the judging panel, meet the other teams and to rub shoulders with the many industry leaders who attended the event.

Photos and names of the winning teams can be found at the following link.

The final placings of all 16 teams will be announced shortly, so please check back soon for an update.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Team Meets Italian Culinary Royalty

Team South Burnett with Antonio Carluccio

As South Australia enjoys the 10th Anniversary of it's Tasting Australia festival, it's impossible to avoid the influx superstar chefs, who have converged in Adelaide for the week-long food and wine extraveganza.

Team South Burnett had the pleasure of meeting up with Italian Culinary Master Antonio Carlussio (pictured above), at the Adelaide Central markets.

Antonio is a Restaurant Owner, TV Personality and bestselling Cookbook Author, who is in town as a special guest of Tasting Australia 2007.

In the 24 hours since Team South Burnett landed in Adelaide, they've been overwhelmed with celebrity sightings. Yesterday they had drinks with French chef Gabriel Gate, and chatted with Peter Howard and Festival Director Mr Ian Parmenter.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Team South Burnett Arrive in Adelaide

Team South Burnett with Ian Parmener

After 18 months of marticulous planning, Team South Burnett arrived in Adelaide this morning, for the final stage of preparation for the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition.

And, within minutes of checking in at their hotel, they met up with several Celebrity Chef's including Tasting Australia Director Mr Ian Parmenter (pictured above).

The team will compete on Thursday morning, and will spend the next few days finalising some last minute details.

Team South Burnett will update their website live from Adelaide - reporting on their quest for culinary gold.

So check back regularly and wish the team luck!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Food and Wine Celebrities Praise Team's Menu

Alastair McLeod Peter Scudamore-Smith

A panel of respected Queensland food and wine experts were treated to a sneak peak of Team South Burnett's competition menu, ahead of next month's the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition.

Brett's Wharf Restaurant Executive Chef and Ready, Steady, Cook TV celebrity Alastair McLeod was joined by Master of Wine Mr Peter Scudamore-Smith (pictured above), and Food Consultant Mr Michael Foernander, to taste a three-course menu showcasing South Burnett regional produce and wine.

The menu tasting gave the team of South Burnett chefs an opportunity assess how they'd perform under the tight three-hour time constraints, required at the competition.

Team Captain Jason Ford said,"As a time trial, it was a great opportunity to see if we could get everything done in time. We made it, but at the same time we had a couple of things not turn out perfect".

"But it's during the practice sessions that we want the problems to occur, then we can iron-out all the issues before we compete in Adelaide. After a couple more practices, we're confident we'll perform seemlessly at the competition".

"The feedback from the tasting panel was overall very positive, and they all had invaluable advice on how we could make the most of our menu and wine matches", Jason said.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fraser Coast Meets the South Burnett

Jason Ford at the 2007 Fraser Coast Living Expo
On the Father's day weekend, Hervey Bay got a taste of South Burnett cuisine when Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford (pictured above) presented cooking demonstations at the 2007 Fraser Coast Living Expo.
Jason was invited by the Rotary Club of Hervey Bay to entertain the crowds with several cooking shows over the two-day lifestyle expo, on the Seafront Oval at Pialba.
Among other guest speakers was former Australian and rugby league player Steve Walters and Brisbane Botanical Gardens Curator Ross McKinnon.
Jason used the opportunity to showcase some of the best produce from his regions, such as The Peanut Van's Hi Oleic peanuts, and award winning Kingaroy Cheese.
Many of the audience asked if they could get hold of the South Burnett inspired recipes, so here they are - enjoy!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cheesy Movie Night a Great Success

L-R Mike Giles, Reuben and Indigo Vandenberg
Last night, Team South Burnett hosted the premier screening of Disney Pixar Animations Ratatouille.
75 people braved the cold, wind and rain to attend the fundraising movie night. Amongst the movie-goers was Mike Giles, Reuben and Indigo Vandenberg (pictured above L-R), who got into the culinary spirit by dressing up as French Master Chefs.
And, as a gastronomic homage to the film, award winning Kingaroy Cheese platters were served up as the crowd filed out of the theatre.
The fundraiser was held at Kingaroy Satellite Cinema and raised over $400, which will help cover the costs of sending the Team South Burnett chefs to Adelaide’s Lifestyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, in October.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Kingaroy Cheese Wins Big At The Ekka

Team South Burnett Partner Kingaroy Cheese has blitzed the competition at this year's 'Ekka' RNA Show in Brisbane. Cheesemaker Mr Chris Ganzer has walked away with a gold medal and three silver's.

Chris was interviewed at the show, by Jenny Woodward from ABC TV where he demonstarted the basics of cheesemaking.

Click on the image below to watch.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Team South Burnett Hosts Movie Premiere


The Chefs of Team South Burnett are hosting the Kingaroy opening night of Pixar Animations latest 'gastronomic' blockbuster, Ratatouille.

The movie follows the adventures of a rat named Remy, who dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his dad's wishes and the problem of being a rat in a clearly rodent-phobic business.

All at once fate steps in and places Remy in a restaurant made famous by his hero - Chef Auguste Gusteau.

Though faced with the danger of being an unlikely and unwanted guest in the kitchen of one of the most chic restaurants in all of Paris, Remy's passion for cooking soon sets in mtion a side-splitting race that turns the French cooking world upside down.

The Team South Burnett fundraising movie night will be held at Kingaroy Satellite Cinema at 6.00pm, Thursday 06th September. Complimentary Cheese Platters will be available after the movie, courtesy of our sponsorship partner Kingaroy Cheese.

Tickets are $11.00 per person and are available for purchase by contacting Team Captain Jason Ford on (07) 4162-7943 or via email.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Peanut Van Opens Brisbane Store

Rob Patch, Matthew Hayden, Jason Ford and Chris Patch
Team South Burnett's partner - The Peanut Van - has just opened their latest outlet.

The new store is located at 725 Gympie Road Chermside, and breaks new ground for Peanut Van Owners Rob and Chris Patch, as their first outlet in a capital city.

Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford was on hand as MC for the opening ceremony.

Australian cricket legend, Matthew Hayden officially cut the ribbon to the store, before unveiling a plaque commemorating the historic event. Matthew Hayden grew up on a peanut farm in Kingaroy, where his parents still reside.

The record-breaking Opening Batsman said,"I've taken The Peanut Van's products with me on tour to ever corner of the world, and they're always met with the same response... Wow"!

"I truly believe that the peanuts coming out of Kingaroy are the best in the world", Matthew said.

The Chermside store is the third Peanut Van to open. The original Kingaroy Peanut Van commenced business in 1969, and the Childers outlet opened in 2005.
Picture above: L-R The Peanut Van's Rob Patch, Australian Cricketer Matthew Hayden, Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford and The Peanut Van's Chris Patch.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Matthew In Training

Matthew McMurdy - Team Apprentice

After recently undertaking a four-week block of training at TAFE, Team South Burnett Apprentice Chef Matthew McMurdy (*pictured above) is excited about returning next week for his second block.

It's a requirement of all kitchen apprentices in Queensland to successfully complete formal training in a Commercial Cookery course to become fully qualified chefs.

Matthew said, "Everything I've learnt so far reinforces the basic skills and knowledge I've gained on-the-job at the Bell Tower Restaurant, and also introduced me to new techniques".

"It's a real eye-opener - I get to work alongside other apprentice chefs from a diverse range of establishments, and learn from lecturers of many nationalities", he said.

During his second block, Matthew will learn about the preparation of poultry and game, seafood, meats, pastries, cakes and yeast goods.

Matthew believes the skills and knowledge he's gaining at TAFE will be invaluable when he competes with Team South Burnett at Adelaide's Lifestyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, in October.

The competition is the most prestigious of it's kind in Australia, and a panel of respected judges will closely scrutinise Team South Burnett's level of culinary technique and professionalism.

The competition's criteria states that each regional team is required to have at least one apprentice or trainee. Apart from the competitions main prizes, Matthew will be eligible for the additional category of 'Best Apprentice'.

*Photograph courtesy of Denise Keelen

Friday, June 29, 2007

Cooking with South Burnett Produce

The South Burnett region is a treasure trove of culinary diversity.

Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford recently demostrated the abundance of ingredients available in his team's region with a cooking segment on Channel Seven's 'On The Land' TV show.

He prepared a delicious Spicy African Peanut Soup, utilising PCA Peanut Oil, Peanut Van Peanut Butter and Kingaroy Cheese Creme Fraiche.

Click play button below to see how it's made.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Team South Burnett Partners Feature On Landline

Team South Burnett's partners PCA and The Peanut Van recently featured as a cover story on the ABC network's Landline program. The story covered the Hi Oleic revolution in the Australian peanut industry.

Click on play button to view Part 1 of the feature.

Click on play button to view Part 2 of the feature.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Media Elite Tastes The Magic

Yesterday, Queensland’s most influential travel and food journalists converged at Brisbane’s acclaimed Brett’s Wharf Restaurant, to taste the magic of the South Burnett. The event was staged as part of a Fraser Coast South Burnett Regional Tourism Board project.

Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford delighted the VIP guests with a culinary showcase of regional produce. Joined on stage by well-known Food Commentator Alison Alexander, Jason prepared South Burnett inspired recipes utilising everything from organic duck, peanuts, cheeses, olive oil and Tahitian limes.

The attendees took seats alongside various South Burnett Tourism, Food and Wine representatives, to sample the dishes direct from the Brett’s Wharf kitchen – prepared by Channel Ten’s Ready, Steady, Cook Celebrity Chef Alastair McLeod.

Kingaroy Cheesemaker Chris Ganzer mingled amongst the media elite, and was very encouraged by their praise of the South Burnett region, and its produce.

Chris commented, “Although we have a great relationship with the media, it would normally take people like Jason and I many months of perseverance to get the sSouth Burnett’s message across to such a large group of highly respected journalists. But at this event we managed to do it effectively in just a couple of hours”.

“We’ll see the positive results of this for a long time to come, as articles and stories emerge in popular press over the coming year”, he said.

Among the invited guests was the Program Producer for The Great South East and Queensland Weekender, Editors and Writers for the Courier-Mail, Sunday Mail, Style Magazines and Brisbane Affair.

Pictured above: (L-R) Chris Ganzer from Kingaroy Cheese, Sunday Mail Writer Alison Cotes, Ready Steady Cook Resident Chef Alastair McLeod and Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Local Government Supports Culinary Team

Local Governments have thrown their weight behind a team of local South Burnett chefs.

Team South Burnett is a group of the region's most respected chefs, who'll travel to South Australia in October to compete at the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition.

Earlier this year a commitment was made by the South Burnett Local Government Association (SBLGA), for Shires to make individual contributions to the Team South Burnett project.

Most of the Shires have since handed generous sponsorship cheques to Team Captain Jason Ford.

SBLGA Chairman Cr. David Carter said, “I see this initiative as a key part of the marketing of our region”.

“It really comes down to supporting anything that promotes the South Burnett as an attractive destination for tourists”, he said.

Team Captain and well-known local chef Jason Ford said, “The support we’ve received from local government and the region’s business community has been overwhelming”.

“All Shires in the South Burnett have thier individual geographical importance to the region as a whole and have always been great supporters of our vibrant wine and food tourism industry”.

The team is now well on its way to raising the funds required to transport and accommodate its five members for the four-day competition, held at Adelaide’s Tasting Australia Festival.

Team Captain Jason Ford with Wondai Shire Mayor Cr. David Carter

Team Captain Jason Ford with Kingaroy Shire CEO Mr. John Kersnovski

Team Captain Jason Ford with Nanango Shire Mayor Cr. Reg McCallum

Team Captain Jason Ford with Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Mayor Cr. Ken Bone

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Search Has Ended

Team South Burnett's long search to complete their culinary quartet, has concluded with the discovery of talented apprentice chef Matthew McMurdy (*pictured above).
Matthew demonstrated a standout performance amongst a field of eight competitors at the PCA South Burnett Culinary Competition held earlier this month. With the competition judging panel praising him for his professional culinary skills, he was awarded the apprentice encouragement prize.
The 18 year-old is employed as a first year apprentice chef at Kingaroy's iconic Bell Tower Restaurant, and trains under the watchful eye of Chef/Owner Brad Clark.
Matthew will now go on to compete alongside Team South Burnett members Jason Ford, Steve Gudzinski and Helen Pratt when they travel to Adelaide in October for the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition.
Team Captain Jason Ford said," Matthew is one cool character - he's a gifted and level-headed apprentice, who’ll be a valuable addition to Team South Burnett".
For an indepth profile of Matthew's life and culinary career, please click here.
*Photograph coutesy of PCA and Clive Lowe

Friday, March 16, 2007

Compliments From Ian Parmenter

One can imagine the excitement Team South Burnett felt, when they received a personal email from Tasting Australia Festival Director Mr. Ian Parmenter (pictured above in 2003 with Team Captain Jason Ford).
Mr. Parmenter wrote in his email,”... This is a great example of a cohesive group of entrepreneurial culinary professionals taking the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition brief and running with it in a creative, ambitious and well-organised fashion. Most impressive.
Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford said, "Mr. Parmenter acknowledged and praised our innovative website, which makes the team members and sponsorship partners feel greatly rewarded for their efforts".
"However, the real excitement will begin when we 'step into the ring' in October, and cook-up a storm while showcasing our regions' finest, world-class produce", Ford said.
One of the team's main objectives is to achieve National recognition for their region. The South Burnett is the fastest developing wine producing region in Queensland, and an attractive wine and food tourism destination.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Helen Wins PCA South Burnett Culinary Competition

The PCA South Burnett Culinary Competition, held at the Tarong Mine Wine and Food in the Park Festival, provided a food and wine loving audience with one of the most exciting and entertaining culinary displays in the cook-off's six year history.

Eight chefs charged into battle for the top prizes, and as expected the panel of judges had a difficult time choosing the winning dishes, as the scores were separated by the smallest of margins.

The judging panel consisted of Channel Ten’s Ready Steady Cook resident chef Alastair McLeod and the Courier-Mail ‘Fossicking” food writer David Costello.

Competition co-organiser and Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford (*pictured above, front-right) said, “The high standards of this year’s chef’s were outstanding and unprecedented”.

“Every single dish that left the stage could have been sent straight into a dining room of any expensive a la carte restaurant anywhere in the country, and you would not be able to tell they were prepared in the middle of Memorial Park in Kingaroy”.

The coveted grand prize of ‘Best Overall Dish’ was awarded to Team South Burnett Chef Helen Pratt (*pictured above, far-right) from the Kingaroy Hotel, for her spectacular dessert based on the exotic Dragonfruit, which was grown at a plantation in Nanango.

Local chef Karen Ford won the category of ‘Best Food and Wine Match’; after she amused the crowd with humorous repartee while preparing a dessert of Peanut and Kahlua Pie with Crane Wines Late Harvest Frontignac.

And, Chef Ben Best from SB Food Service Distributors took out the PCA’s hotly contested ‘Most Innovative Use of Peanuts’ category with a delicious main course of Bendele Farm Organic Duck Breast with Peanut, Pear and Chili Salsa.

Encouragement prizes were awarded to TAFE Hospitality student Lance Webb, Bell Tower Restaurant Apprentice Chef Matthew McMurdy and Kingaroy Hotel Apprentice Chef Margaret Powell.

Margaret received a prize of one weeks work experience with Alastair McLeod at his award-winning Brisbane restaurant, Brett’s Wharf.

Those who unfortunately missed this year’s culinary competition will shortly be able to view all the chefs’ competition dishes and recipes on the Peanut Company of Australia’s website.
*Photograph courtesy of PCA and Clive Lowe

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tarong Mine Digs Deep For Culinary Team

The single greatest challenge facing Team South Burnett is to design a competition menu that captures the essence of their region, and to present it on a national stage. The individual dishes will have to be innovative and unique in order to impress a judging panel of culinary experts.

However, before the team can even consider tackling such a tremendous undertaking - they face a more immediate hurdle. How do they raise $15,000.00 to transport five team members, a pallet of regional produce and cooking equipment over 1600km from Kingaroy to Adelaide, to compete in Australia's most prestigious culinary competition? The logistics are staggering, and the financial costs are very expensive.

The answer is quite simple - you need to live in one of the most generous and supportive communities in the country.

Team Captain Jason Ford said," The financial support and assistance of all Team South Burnett's partners over the last few months has been overwhelming".

Gratefully, the *Tarong Mine Community Development Fund has been amongst the most generous. Their recent contribution of $5,000.00 will help send Team South Burnett to the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, and hopefully bring back gastronomic gold.

The Tarong Mine provided assistance to the team in 2003 and has continued it's support for 2007. Fund's Chairman Mr Cam Halfpenny said, "The Fund's support for this worthwhile project recognises the long-standing partnership between the Fund and Team South Burnett as well as the opportunities presenting themselves through the project".

With two-thirds of their budget in place, Team South Burnett is already cooking up a storm in the kitchen developing a menu using much of the regions world-class produce. A menu is close to being finalised, and the next six months will be dedicated to painstaking practice sessions and meticulous fine-tuning.

*Logo courtesy of the Tarong Mine Community Development Fund

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Helen Makes Her Mark!

It hasn't taken long for Team South Burnett Chef Helen Pratt to make her mark on Kingaroy's restaurant scene.

Currently Head Chef at the Kingaroy Hotel, she returned to Australia last year, after a long stint cooking in France. Helen couldn't wait to return to her hometown and hasn't wasted any time demonstrating her culinary prowess.
As soon as Helen set foot back in Oz, she was profiled by the Courier-Mail's weekly employment liftout CareerOne.

And only last week, the Courier-Mail's Food Writer Natasha Mirosch reported on Helen's gastronomic delights in a GoodLife cover story Beyond City Limits. She wrote, "Recently returned from cooking in France, Pratt is definitely raising the bar, with dishes using South Burnett produce... ". Natashia goes on to mention several of Helen's excitintg regionally inspired dishes.

Helen has also attracted the attention of (believe it or not) Ford Australia's quarterly motoring magazine 'Motion', in a State-by-State travel article on Australian wine regions. The article recommends sampling Helen's menu at the Kingaroy Hotel because, "(it's) the best of South Burnett produce".

And, on March 10th, locals and toursists will have the opportunity to experience why Helen's got the press buzzing, when she runs an outdoor fine dining restaurant at Tarong Mine Wine and Food in the Park Festival.
Helen’s menu is sure to delight guests with a range of her favourite South Burnett cuisine.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Team South Burnett To Cook Up A Storm At Kingaroy Festival

On Saturday March 10th, Team South Burnett (pictured above) will make an appearance at the PCA South Burnett Regional Culinary Competition. The competition is a key attraction of Kingaroy's Annual Tarong Mine Wine and Food in the Park Festival.
The team sees the competition as a precursor to their quest for gold at the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, and an opportunity to brush up on their gastronomic skills.
Team Captain Jason Ford has been co-organiser and presenter of the Peanut Company of Australia Cook-off since its inception 5 years ago.
Team Chef Steve Gudzinski was a three-time undefeated Grand Champion of the Best Dish Category, until he moved away from the South Burnet area in late 2005. An expansion of the cooking competition's criteria has opened the door for chefs from outside the region to compete, and Steve has decided to return this year in an attempt to regain his crown.
Kingaroy Hotel's Head Chef Helen Pratt is also a member of Team South Burnett, and after returning to Kingaroy from working in France, has entered the PCA Culinary Competition for the first time.
It's expected that pans will be flying as the two chefs face-off against a talented field of 8 other local chefs and vie for the top awards.
The PCA South Burnett Regional Culinary Competition will be judged by Channel Ten's Ready, Steady, Cook resident chef Alastair McLeod and Courier Mail Food Writer David Costello, and commences at 10.00am in Kingaroy's Memorial Park.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

PCA Backs Culinary Quartet

When world-renowned chefs and culinary identities converge on Adelaide’s Tasting Australia Festival, in October – their palates will be singing the praises of Kingaroy peanuts.

Team South Burnett recently received a considerable funding boost from the Peanut Company of Australia Manging Director Mr Bob Hansen (*pictured above with Team Captain Jason Ford), who has once again become a major partner to the quartet of local chefs.

PCA were a major sponsor of Team South Burnett, when they competed at the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition in 2003.

For the 2007 event, Team South Burnett will be using the companies World-first “Lyte & Crunchy” peanuts in their regionally-inspired competition menu. The peanut kernels have been pressed to release their oil, and were developed as a joint project under Federal Government funding by PCA and the Peanut Van.

The competition requires 30 Australian regional teams, to prepare a three-course meal for four people, using regional based products and matching wines.

It’s anticipated that using the new peanuts will help Team South Burnett standout from the pack.
Team captain Jason Ford said, "If the peanuts are used in an innovative way, they may just be the ingredient needed to entice the judge’s taste buds".

The competition will be judged by acclaimed chefs and food identities from all over the country, including David Pugh from the iconic Restaurant Two in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Team South Burnett will continue their funding drive over the coming months to raise the $15,000 required to attend the event. The money will go towards covering a variety of expenses such as preparation, transport, accommodation and freighting product and equipment to South Australia

* Picture courtesy of Anne Miller (AM Publishing)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Team South Burnett On The News

Team South Burnett were recently interviewed by regional network, WIN News Toowoomba, regarding their participation in the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, at Tasting Australia October 2007.
Team Chefs, Jason Ford and Helen Pratt talked with reporter Melissa Mallet about using a World-first low fat peanut in their competition menu.
At present, the new 'Lyte and Crunchy' peanuts are exclusively sold through Team South Burnett's partner 'The Peanut Van', in Kingaroy.
Click on play button to view footage.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Kingaroy High Tea Recipe Book Released

Team South Burnett Captain, Jason Ford has been keeping busy in his spare time. Jason was on a committee to compile and design a recipe book in aid of the Kingaroy Hospital Auxiliary's fundraising drive.

'High Tea Recipes Volume One' is the result - with contributed recipes from an assortment of well-known Kingaroy identities, auxiliary volunteers, Queensland politicans and Australian sports and media celebrities.

Why not try Australian Opening Batsman, Matthew Hayden's Lemon Scones recipe? Apparently it's very popular with the Australian Cricket team. There's a preview of TV Chef Peter Howard's upcoming cookbook 'Delicious Entertaining', with his Mushroom and Cottage Cheese Pate recipe. Lady Flo Bjelke Petersen has contributed her World-famous Pumpkin Scones. Even the Queensland Minister for Health, Hon Stephen Robertson MP has shared a couple of his family favourites.

But no high tea would be complete without Jason Ford's Quark and Prune Cheesecake (see posting dated Wednesday, 29th November, 2006).

The beautifully presented recipe book was published to celebrate the Auxiliary reaching it's fundraising goal of $10,000 to furnish Kingaroy Hospital's soon to be contructed Renal Unit. However, they've decided to now raise the crossbar and continue fundraising.

The book will have it's official launch on Tuesday 12th December, at a VIP Afternoon High Tea held at the Old Council Chambers in Kingaroy's Heritage and Tourism precinct.

High Tea, Recipes Volume One is available for $15.00 from the Kingaroy Hospital Canteen, Dr Julian Mullins Veterinary Surgery, 186 Kingaroy Street, Kingaroy and other outlets.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Team South Burnett Feature On Wikipedia

Team South Burnett's quest to win culinary gold at the LifeStyle Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, has gained the attention of the internet's fastest growing website.

'Wikipedia' is a multilingual, web-based free content encyclopedia project, and is currently ranked by Alexa as the 12th most popular site on the World Wide Web.

The article contains historical information, team bios, and other interesting facts regarding the Team South Burnett project.

You can visit the article by clicking here.

Picture above: Team South Burnett, letting down their hair at a local Kingaroy peanut farm.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Kingaroy Cheese Quark and Prune Cheesecake Recipe

Click on recipe to enlarge

Throughout Team South Burnett's culinary adventures around their region, they come across some very exciting produce. And, amongst their favourite local ingredients are the award-winning cheeses and dairy products .

At a recent Masterclass held at Kingaroy's Bell Tower Restaurant (see posting dated Monday, October 23, 2006) , Team Captain Jason Ford demonstrated his unique cheesecake recipe, which utilised fresh Kingaroy Cheese Quark and Runnymede Sheeps Yoghurt. Try it for yourself... and enjoy!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Team South Burnett Gets Wired!

Preparing for a worldclass event such as the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian regional Culinary Competition, requires maticulous planning and effective communication.

So, what do you do when one of your regional team members lives 3 hours away? Get wired of course!

In preparation for the 2007 competition, Team South Burnett has set up a network of webcams and high-speed internet connections. Team members Jason Ford and Helen Pratt regularly chat online with Steve Gudzinski, who now resides in the Gold Coast Hinterland (pictured above on webcam).

Team Captain Jason Ford says Steve will be making regular trips to the South Burnett on his days off - to plan and practice with the rest of the team. But in between visits, the webcams overcome the tirany of distance.

"When I can actually see and hear him on the computer, it feels the same as having him physically in the room", Jason said.

Team South Burnett are no strangers to the power of the internet. In 2003, they had an enviable internet presence, which is made obvious with a simple 'Google Search', click here to see for yourself.

And now, with their own website and a truckload of other local websites covering their activities, there'll be an endless supply of Team South Burnett News at the click of a computer mouse.

So while your surfing around, why not have a look at the team's favourite South Burnett website listed on the left hand side of this page?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Money In The Bank

Team South Burnett has just celebrated their first milestone, by cracking open the Peanut Van's new Christmas champagne bottles... filled with sugared peanuts.

Kingaroy's iconic Peanut Van has jumped on board as the team's first partner, by presenting them with a cheque. The sponsorship will allow the team to open a bank account in support of their quest to represent the South Burnett at the 2007 LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, held in Adelaide.

Rob Patch (pictured above) said, "I'm pleased to support anything that promotes my region in a positive way, and I see the Team South Burnett project as the perfect vehicle".

The team will also utilise a 'World-first' peanut product in their menu, and anticipate that it will wow the judges at the competition.

Team Captain Jason Ford said, "We visited Rob at his idyllic farm, located just outside of Kingaroy, to talk about peanuts and we were overwhelmed when he handed over a generous cheque".

Team South Burnett anticipates they will require at least $15,000 in partnerships, to succeed against more well-known regions, such as Barossa, Hunter Valley and the Granite Belt.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Visit To The Good Food And Wine Show

Team South Burnett members Jason Ford and Helen Pratt visited Brisbane's Good Food and Wine Show on the weekend, rubbing shoulders with some of Australia's most celebrated foodies. Hot on the heels of his high-rating TV series 'Jamie's Kitchen Australia', Tobie Puttock (pictured above with Jason) was in town cooking up a storm, and demonstrating why he's Jamie Oliver's right hand man downunder. Tobie is Head Chef of the Fifteen Melbourne Restaurant. The purpose of Fifteen is to inspire disadvantaged young people to believe that they can create for themselves a career in the restaurant business.
Helen had the exciting opportunity to meet one of her greatest inspirations, best-selling Author and TV Chef Stephenie Alexander (pictured above with Helen), who was promoting her latest literary offering 'Kitchen Garden Cooking'. Stephanie's new book supports one of her greatest passions, The Kitchen Garden Foundation which exists to develop life-long healthier and happier eating habits in a new generation of Australians by engaging them in growing, harvesting, preparing and sharing delicious and healthy food at primary school.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Team South Burnett Caters For Awards Night

Attendees of the 2006 Heritage Building Society Kingaroy Business Awards got a sneak preview of Team South Burnett's culinary prowess, when team chefs Jason Ford and Helen Pratt (*pictured above) catered for the event.

Helen, who heads-up the kitchen of the 'Kinga' Hotel, designed a regional themed three-course dinner for the 200 appreciative attendees, utilising local chicken, beef, cheese, olives and small goods.

Hospitality Teacher and Team South Burnett Captain, Jason Ford was also on hand with a brigade of his Kingaroy TAFE students.

"The function was a fantastic opportunity for the students to experience a hands-on environment, with two qualified chef at the helm and real customers at the tables", Jason said.

Everyone had a great time with organisers declaring the night a smashing success, and many of the attendees complimenting the fabulous food and service.

*Picture courtesy of James Brecknell (South Burnett Times)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Team Profile - Sylvia Parsons (Team Manager)

Sylvia Parsons (pictured above) hails from the tourism region of Devon in Southwest England. She recalls a love of cooking and a desire to have a career in hospitality from the age of 10.

Sylvia was an ‘A-Grade’ home economics student, which ultimately paved the way to formal studies at North Devon Catering College, where she studied a rigorous 3 year qualification in an OND Diploma of Hotel Catering, and City and Guilds Trade Certificate.

After working for several of Devon’s tourism establishments, Sylvia immigrated to Australia in 1982, were she eventually managed and operated several Kingaroy motels.

In 1988 Sylvia, together with her husband, took over the rains of the iconic Bunya Mountains Eco Tourism Resort, which she operated and developed for the next 15 years.

After moving on from the Bunya Mountains, Sylvia perused a career in hospitality vocational training with Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE, where she shares her wealth of experience teaching various food and beverage related qualifications.

Nowadays, Sylvia balances her teaching position with contract employment in Brisbane through Zenith Hospitality Services, working in a diverse range of establishments such as, Carlton Crest, Stanford Plaza, Gianni’s Function Centre, Jupiter’s Casino and the Gold Coast Convention Centre.

Sylvia is currently a member of the Australasian Barista Guild and has competed in the Queensland State Barista Championships, recently qualifying sixth in the state.

As a veteran Team South Burnett Manager, Sylvia is looking forward to returning to Adelaide and representing her region and showcasing its world class produce, wine and hospitality skills.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Team Profile - Helen Pratt (Team Chef)

Helen Pratt (*pictured above) is a third generation Kingaroy local. She began cooking at home with her mother and was entering scones and peanut biscuits into the annual Kingaroy Agricultural Show at the tender age of six. She still gloats proudly about her undefeated chocolate fudge.

Helen’s love of cooking continued throughout here childhood, until she left school to pursue a career in architecture, enrolling in a Bachelor Degree in Architecture at the University of Queensland.

After two years of full-time studies, she discovered where her true calling lay – cooking! In 1999 she left uni and commenced a chef’s apprenticeship at the Pioneer Room in Kingaroy under Head Chef Jason Ford.

During this time, Helen developed a keen interest in the South Burnett’s local farmers, and bourgeoning food and wine industry. She recognised the potential of her region as a tourism destination and the economic and social benefits it would generate for her community.

For the remaining years of her apprenticeship she trained in a succession of well-known French inspired restaurants such as Tables of Toowong, the iconic Baguette Restaurant and Rhubarb Rhubarb. Helen also developed a high level of skill in pastry work.

On qualifying, Helen moved to the Haute Savoie in the French Alps, and worked as a resident chef for an up market ski chalet.

Helen recently returned to her hometown, and is currently Head Chef of the newly refurbished ‘Kinga’ Hotel. And, in March this year, Helen took out the award of 'Best Overall Dish' at the 2007 PCA South Burnett Culinary Competition. With her continued support of all things regional, and specialist skills in French cuisine, Helen will provide an invaluable contribution to Team South Burnett.
*Photograph courtesy of PCA and Clive Lowe

Friday, October 27, 2006

Team South Burnett Footage 2003

Team South Burnett first competed in the LifeStyle Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition in 2003.

With a subscribed viewing audience of over 1 million people, Team South Burnett received unprecedented exposure for their region, as their efforts were beamed across Australia.

The footage below was broadcast on the LifeStyle Channel Tuesday 07th October 2003, as the team prepared their regional menu.
Click on play button to view footage.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Team Profile - Steve Gudzinski (Team Chef)

Steve Gudzinski (*pictured above) grew up in a house full of epicureans and professional chefs. He believes that his life was always destined to revolve around food. In his later years of schooling, Steve worked part-time at the Wynnum Fish Markets and developed a healthy respect for fresh Queensland produce.

After leaving school, Steve immediately channeled his passion for cooking into training as an apprentice chef. He worked in some of Brisbane's most popular establishments, such as the Pineapple Hotel and the trendy Hotel Carindale training under celebrated chefs like Keith McNeil and Didier Fournier.

Upon completing his apprenticeship and with a yearning for adventure, Steve traveled to remote areas of Queensland and New South Wales, adapting and challenging his skills and knowledge in a wide range of rural areas such as Rubyvale, Cunamulla and the ski slopes of Jindabyne. Working in such extreme and sometimes difficult environments enabled Steve to develop an aptitude for thinking on his feet with clever and inventive ideas.

Urged by Jason Ford to experience the growth of regional food and wine, Steve moved to the South Burnett in late 2001.

During his four years in the South Burnett, Steve worked a trilogy of successful head chef positions in Kingaoroy, at The Bell Tower Restaurant, Red Earth Restaurant and Explorers Restaurant. During the course of those positions, Steve achieved an unprecedented three consecutive listings in the Courier-Mail Goodlife Restaurant Guide, and was also awarded a red star of excellence. He was three-time winner of the PCA South Burnett Regional Culinary Competition, appeared on the cover of the Courier-Mail's Goodlife magazine and competed at the 2003 LifeSytle Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition.

Steve currently resides in the Gold Coast Hinterland and is a contracted chef/manager for the Compass Group. With his close ties to the South Burnett and passion for Queensland regional cuisine and wine, Steve was a natural choice to return to Team South Burnett in a quest for culinaty gold.

*Picture coutesy of The LifeStyle Channel

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Team Profile - Jason Ford (Team Captain)

Jason Ford (pictured right) grew up in Logan City, Queensland, Australia.

After leaving school he felt naturally drawn to the kitchen. Jason's first job was as a kitchenhand, washing dishes at Webster's Coffee Lounge in the heart of Brisbane's Queen Street Mall.

In 1986, Jason was accepted into the recently constructed TAFE College of Tourism and Hospitality (COTAH). Following a year of intensive hospitality training, Jason chose to commence a chef’s apprenticeship. He worked within the Brisbane CBD in restaurants such as the award winning Rumpoles Restaurant and the popular New Orleans Restaurant; and trained under some of Brisbane’s most acclaimed chefs.

On the completion of his apprenticeship, Jason moved on to a successful career in many of Brisbane’s five star hotels, Royal On The Park, Brisbane Hilton,Stamford Plaza, Hotel Carindale and the prestigious Brisbane Riverview Hotel. It was during his time in the international hotel environment that Jason established himself as a specialist pastry chef. Jason was the first chef to study and graduate from the Advanced Trade Certificate in Patissiere within Queensland and was awarded COTAH Pastry Chef of the Year.

During the mid-90’s Jason discovered his appreciation for teaching when he became a part-time cookery teacher at Brisbane’s Southbank Institute of Technology.

In 1998 Jason decided to move to the South Burnett with his wife Karen to pursue a quieter, family lifestyle in a burgeoning wine and food region.

In 2003, Jason captained the first team of South Burnett chefs to compete in Adelaides's LifeStyle Food Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition. In the same year, Jason was awarded Kingaroy's Australia Day Citizen of the Year for his tireless efforts promoting the South Burnett's food and wine industry.

Currently working for the Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE Kingaroy as a Commercial Cookery Lecturer, Jason has a Bachelor of Vocational Education and Training, a Diploma of Hospitality and writes regular food columns for various newspapers and websites and has a weekly radio cooking segment on Crow FM 90.7. He is also Lead Author of 'Professional Chef' ISBN-10: 017015821.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peter Howard Visits South Burnett

Exactly twelve months out from the LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, Team South Burnett has had the pleasure of cooking alongside one of the event's founding forefathers.

Peter Howard has been Chairman of the competition since its inception, and recently MC'd a South Burnett Culinary Masterclass on 16th October. Team South Burnett Captain Jason Ford and Team Chef Helen Pratt presented a three-course regional cookery workshop to an entertained audience of local producers, wine makers and tourism associations.

Peter Howard is no stranger to Queensland's South Burnett Region, as he has helped champion the growth of it's beourgening food and wine industry for the past decade. Jason took the opportunity to officially announce his teams quest for culinary gold in 2007, and was encouraged by Peter's praise and best wishes.

Pictured above: L-R Helen Pratt, Peter Howard and Jason Ford relax with a drop of local vintage after an entertaining night of cookery, sparkling repartee and dining.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

We're Back!

With a little over a year to go until The LifeStyle FOOD Channel Australian Regional Culinary Competition, Team South Burnett is regrouping for another assault in South Australia.

With a couple of new team members and many new ideas, Team South Burnett will take on some of Australia's regional culinary giants in a winner-takes-all pursuit for gold, and bragging rights for their region.

Stay tuned to this space!