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Alana is proud to be a chef

Alana is proud to be a chef

Ms Alana Shannon, Tanunda recently returned last Thursday from the experience and opportunity of a lifetime in Melbourne.

The 18 year old graduate from Nuriootpa High School was one of 34 apprentice chefs chosen to compete in the 2017 Fonterra Proud to be a Chef competition.

The competition included an all-expenses paid trip to Melbourne, with impressive prizes at the end.

There were over 600 applicants from all across Australia, both from fine dining restaurants and cafes, all budding to gain experience, knowledge and learn.

“I was absolutely shocked and proud to be chosen. Of course I was hoping I would get in. But knowing there were hundreds of applicants from all over Australia scared me,” said Alana.

Alana entered the competition on recommendation from her Tafe SA lecturer, Ms Jan Koerner. 

She admitted she wasn’t going to enter, but something sparked in her and by believing in herself, eagerly submitted an application consisting of a series of answers to questions and one of her own recipes.

After being selected as one of just 34 entrants, Alana left for her exciting trip on February 19 and returned February 23.

After using the first day to settle in, the group awoke at 3.30 a.m. on February 20 to head to Melbourne’s wholesaler fish market, exclusive to people buying bulk food for restaurants.

After the fish markets the group went to Bidfood to see how their restaurant food orders are picked, packed and delivered.

The group were then taught how to fillet fish and had an information session regarding the seafood industry and how it impacts on chefs choosing local produce.

A master class by chef, Buddah Lo, followed the session, where they learnt about how to use and incorporate liquid nitrogen into their dishes.

On February 21, Mr Peter Wright, who caters for the Olympic Games around the world, gave the group a master class in making brie cheese, which Alana described as “pretty awesome”.

They also had a visit to the Queen Victoria Markets and another master class by chef, Andrew Wilson. 

On each of the days the group dined at impressive restaurants throughout Melbourne, meeting each of the head chefs.

Competition day was last Wednesday.

The 34 contestants were split into two mixed groups of sweet and savoury.

 For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.