CRISPY pork belly was the secret weapon for Karalee on Preston’s Best Perth Steak Sandwich entry.
The mastermind behind the tasty creation was head chef Mickey Phull, who looked to innovate an already popular dish.
“We replaced bacon with pork belly, which made it more gourmet and allowed us to push the boundaries,” he said.
“Bacon is a staple of steak sandwiches but the pork belly can be easier to eat and it provides contrasting flavours.”
Mr Phull went head to head with chefs from three other metropolitan finalists: the Carlisle Hotel, CY O’Connor Village Pub and the Generous Squire.
“I’ve been on stage before but you always get a bit nervous about cooking in front of a lot of people,” he said.
“I was nervous enough; I cook hundreds of steak sandwiches per week but it turned out perfect on the day.”
The Como restaurant has a strong history in the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) WA competition, claiming a win in 2014 and being named as a finalist in both 2015 and 2016.
Karalee on Preston general manager Ashley Cranenburgh said it was nice to be recognised in the industry.
“It’s a prominent industry award and we’ve had a good run,” he said.
“These days we are facing tough times economically so you need to tick off the boxes, including price and quality.”