Hamish Stewart and Joel Tabans were named joint winners after the judges decided they could not be split. The two were judged on presentation of their dishes, team work, taste and creativity. Both boys won a Territory Taste prize pack, including entry to the Territory Taste Festival and VIP seats for French superstar Manu Feildel’s cooking demonstration at the Festival.
Hamish and Joel will also get the opportunity to meet Manu to get his insight into the world of cooking. Game of Cooks was staged by Cancer Council NT and Palmerston City Council. Aspiring young chefs took to the stage at the city’s recreation centre to show off their culinary skills. The event allowed working in teams or competing solo and was a two-stage competition. The first stage tasked the young cooks with making the classical Italian dessert tiramisu – but with their own creative twist, adding ingredients such as nuts and berries to make the coffee dessert a little healthier. The second stage involved making the unconventional zucchini noodles in a pesto pasta, pushing the youths to use all of their cooking knowledge to pull off such an unusual dish. The competition was hosted by Martin Wildman, owner of Needle in a Haystack and Burnt Sugar Café, and social media influencer Betty Banks, who is no stranger to cooking competitions, having competed in My Kitchen Rules.
Game of Cooks was supported by the Territory Government for NT Youth Week. The City Council is encouraging Palmerston’s army of young would-be chefs in other ways. For instance, another youth cooking contest, Rookie Cooks, is being held by the Council in July as part of the Palmerston Youth Festival. The competition is open to all Palmerston residents aged 10-17. Any young Palmerston cook with dreams of being head chef in a five-star restaurant is encouraged to follow their passion and showcase their abilities. Celebrity foodie Hayden Quinn is coming to the Territory from Sydney to host the competition. Rookie Cooks kicks off on 16 July with a private cook-off.
After much deliberation by the judges, the best 10 will be chosen to compete in a public cook-off in Goyder Square on 18 July. Applications close June 10.
Visit palmerston.nt.gov.au for entry details.