Feathers fly at Carnivale Food Fight

Mon 31 May

Feathers fly at Carnivale Food Fight

The Sugar Wharf was bursting at the scenes on Thursday night as over 250 people vied for the best spot to view the Carnivale Food Fight – Battle of the Master Chefs.


Head Chefs from Salsa, Bistro 3, Bucci, 2 Fish, Harrison’s, Hi Tide, Bel Cibo, and Sakinah House were given a reception fit for visiting rock stars as they took to the stage in front of an audience baying for culinary blood, and eager to find out whose cuisine would reign supreme (ok, so I’ve been watching Iron Chef on SBS).


Presented with a mystery box of ingredients which would form the basis of their dishes (consisting of chicken, sardines, pomegranate, lime, and other delights), each chef had 40 minutes to create a meal that would make their opponents look like a 15 year old burger flipper.


The heat was on from the outset as all eight chefs worked furiously, knowing that their dishes would have to please the critical eyes, nostrils, tongues, and other sensory receptors of the judges. And with judges including celebrity chef, Darren Simpson (from the Lifestyle Channel), Neil Hargreaves (food stylist for The Age Epicure), Nick Holloway (owner and chef of Nu Nu Restaurant), and Noal Craig (food editor from the Cairns Post Weekender), the competitors knew that the traditional meat and three veg just wouldn’t cut the mustard.


Dishes were awarded points based on a number of criteria including the difficulty factor in preparation, the creative use of a mystery ingredient, the skilled execution of the dish, how it relates to current cuisine trends and of course how good it tasted and looked.


After a frantic countdown to the finish line it was time for tasting, and after much deliberation, the judges declared Tommy Young from 2 Fish Restaurant the 2010 Food Fight Master Chef!


Judge Neil Hargreaves said the event was a smashing success.  “It was an incredible night.  Even better when they found some cutlery for the tasting judges!  Tommy Young proved he’s a great chef and he really stepped up to the mark last night.”


Tommy, who came to 2 Fish after working at Nautilus Restaurant, another of the iconic Port Douglas restaurants, was born in Australia but brought up in England and gained his extensive cooking training there before moving back to Sydney. Empowered with a passion to cook good food Tommy set about gaining experience in a number of Sydney restaurants before heading north to Port Douglas.


As I wandered home I reflected on how lucky we are to have such great restaurants and exotic and fresh foods available to us in Port Douglas, and how inspiring it was to see the greatest chefs in town work their magic right in front of me. And as I finished my last fried dimmy I knew that the night would leave a lasting impression.