Chefs battle for top titles at Foodservice Australia

Foodservice Australia

Chef of the Year 2017 grand finalist, Chris Wade

The heat will be fierce in the live kitchens at Foodservice Australia in Sydney in May, with professional chefs competing in two illustrious and demanding competitions on the show floor: Battle of the Pacific and Chef of the Year.

“These two competitions are very different, but they have one crucial thing in common,” event director Tim Collett said. “They encourage all our chefs to strive for excellence and share their passion for world-class cuisine.”

The Battle of the Pacific will see nine teams compete over three days to run the best pop-up restaurant on the show floor. Each team comprising a head chef, junior chef and pastry chef will need to prepare a two-course meal for 30 guests. There will be teams representing Victoria, Queensland, NSW, Western Australia, South Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

The event will be organised by the Australian Culinary Federation and is set to be a highlight of their competition calendar.

“The ACF is the peak body for chefs in Australia, so it’s important that we run events where the chefs congregate, and that’s Foodservice Australia,” ACF general manager Deb Foreman said. “This is a really exciting competition and encourages chefs at any level to step out of their comfort zone.”

While Battle of the Pacific is new to the show, the Chef of the Year competition has been held annually at Foodservice Australia for more than a decade, and has grown to be one of the nation’s most prestigious culinary competitions.

The competition is open to any professional chef working in Australia. From hundreds of entries, the top 32 will be selected to compete live at the show. They will be given one hour and a mystery box of ingredients to create their two best dishes. Knock-out heats lead to an exciting grand final on the last day of the show.

“I have been involved in Chef of the Year for the past six years, and in that time it has morphed into a highly respected competition for professional chefs,” head judge and area executive chef for Pan Pacific Hotels John McFadden said.

“What I saw at the competition this year in Melbourne just blew me away. It was amazing in terms of the high calibre of the chefs.”

Both competitions have now opened for entries:

To enter Chef of the Year, go to

To enter Battle of the Pacific, email

To watch both competitions, register now for free entry to Foodservice Australia.

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