Ardross-based chef in the running for international scholarship

Ardross-based chef in the running for international scholarship

SCROLLING through Facebook is not always the most productive use of time but a bout of procrastination has provided a big boost to second-year apprentice chef Tara Bennett’s career.

Miss Bennett stumbled on the Proud to be a Chef program while browsing social media and, after asking her Tafe lecturer for more details the next day, decided to enter.

“To enter you had to create a recipe produced in two hours or less that showcases one or more products from dairy company Fonterra, which sponsors the program,” she said.

“Mine was called Honey, Ginger and Lemon. It’s a ginger sponge cake filled with honey goat’s milk mousse served with a lemon and rosemary gel and walnut and rosemary crumble.

“It was actually an idea I had floating around in the back of my mind for a while that toes the line between sweet and savoury.”

Miss Bennett’s creation was judged one of the 34 best in Australia, earning her a four-day trip to Melbourne where she will take part in a series of culinary master classes and dine at some of the best restaurants in the country.

“Fine dining is a great source of inspiration, especially when you are presented with something you haven’t seen before,” she said.

“Food these days is becoming more and more like works of art and it’s amazing getting to see how some of Australia’s top chefs showcase different ingredients and really try to push boundaries.”

Miss Bennett works at Sensations en Ardross and specialises in creating dishes that suits a wide variety of dietary requirements.

She remains in the running to be named the Proud to be a Chef overall winner, which would mean an international culinary scholarship tailored to her personal interests and goals as a chef.

“If I win I would go love to France and try and work at Le Cordon Bleu which is a really big cookery school,” Miss Bennett said.

“It’s overarching French cuisine but I would try for a patisserie focus; I love making big, extravagant cakes for special occasions.”