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Friday, May 14, 2021

Meet your Cook Off finalists

The ACT is home to plenty of novice chefs following an overwhelming response to the Healthier Choices Canberra Great Canberra Cook Off.

Getting down to 11 finalists was a massive task with some brilliant video entries submitted for this inaugural ACT Health competition designed to get more Canberrans to eat and cook healthier meals.

From rice paper rolls to chicken souvlaki and an intriguing veggie snap balls dish, Australia’s wholesome culinary journey has come a long way since our meat and three veg combo.

The Healthy Eating Hub’s Kate Freeman said the Cook Off is all about creating recipes with a healthier twist using the great foods and flavours on offer in our city.

“We’re on a mission to find Canberra’s most creative and talented home cooks who can make easy, delicious meals and inspire Canberrans to do the same,” Kate said.

It’s clear the message about healthier eating is getting through to the next generation with scores of primary school kids vying for the Little Chef category. The four finalists’ recipes for this category include these fabulous treats:

  • Veggie Snap Balls by Luke Spencer
  • Rainbow Topped Potato Pieces by Lily Abrahamffy
  • San Choy Bau by Lola Taylor
  • Prawn, Fettuccine and Rocket Salad by Oscar Abraham.

The Teen Chef finalists had a tasty mix of recipes including:

  • Mango, Raspberry and Chia Pudding by Maeve Southby and Indi Fitzgerald
  • Tasty Lettuce Snack Cups by Sebastian Connor
  • Chicken Souvlaki by Ava Liaonos.

The adult finalists for the Stripped Back Chef were required to submit a recipe that is a healthier choice for school and sporting canteens, which can be prepared on ‘stripped back’ equipment. Ms Freeman said the finalists nailed the healthier twist and came up with these exciting options:

  • Vegetable Fritters by Franzi Lane
  • Cheeky Banana Bread by Melissa Woodley
  • Rainbow Rolls (rice paper rolls) and Mince Burger Wrap by Mary Levy
  • Healthy Poke Bowl by Andreas Zurbrugg.

The finalists will now battle it out against one another at The Great Canberra Cook Off finale for the ultimate title of Canberra’s top chef. The winners will take home great prizes from the National Zoo and Aquarium, The Bank Indoor Skate Park, Riddle Room, Questacon, Bison Home, Pushys Fyshwick and Burning Log Mega Store.

You’ll also be able to get a copy of the finalists’ recipes, which will be featured in The Great Canberra Cook Off e-recipe book. This will be available for free download on the ACT Health website after the winners are announced.

The ‘Stripped Back Chef’ cook off event will be held this Saturday 30 November 9am at the Capital Region Farmers Market at EPIC. Come along for a free taste test and cast your vote! For more information visit health.act.gov.au/cookoff

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