Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My Weekend Cooking with George

Posted by Kim Fong On 7:38 pm



This past weekend, I was flown down to Melbourne, thanks to Bulla Cream, as one of six finalists to Bulla's search to find 3 ambassadors for their brand and products. We had a cook off with George Calombaris, a celebrity chef and a spokes person for Bulla Cream.

Personally, an exciting moment for me as this competition was an off chance that I entered. As I don't normally enter competitions, let alone become a finalists in them. Being in the top six of about 500 entrants, it's pretty flattering and I would say this blog would have played a huge part. So thank you for the support and for encouraging me to keep this hobby going.

We were very well looked after by everyone and especially the folks at Bulla Cream and T-garage. Who work very hard at their jobs and made every effort to make us feel comfortable.

So I won't delve into too much detail about the challenges that faced us. But below is brief description on what we were faced with and some snaps of the day.

So what did we do?
Challenge #1 - photo shoot. I think this is self explanatory. We're meant be getting the snaps that were taken, so I'll share these when I get them.

Challenge #2 - introductions and pitching. I went first, introducing myself, where I'm from and why I want to win. So it was about pitching yourself. Happy with what I said and glad I went first. I was very nervous but I got through.

Challenge #3 - simple 3 egg omelette. We could use whatever ingredients and equipment that were available. Sorry I didn't take a photos of my omelette. But I can tell you it was very simple. Literally 3 eggs, bit of water, a bit of salt & pepper, dash of cream. In the middle a bit of fresh parsley. Turned out well. I was happy, George was happy and said he would buy that at a cafe! *blushes* thanks George!

George and Travis hacking into my beautiful omlette
After this, we got to see George demo his 3 egg omelette.I wasn't far off his recipe and method.

Us sampling George's omlette

Challenge#4 - replicate George's dish - fresh egg pasta with snapper fillet and spinach creme. We watched George demo this dish, then got about 45 minutes to do the same. Below my snapper. The biggest challenge here was the fish. We had to fillet it ourselves, and it was a first for many of us. George was impressed with my filleting attempt, so yay! I actually ate mine for lunch. Tasted fantastic! Happy!

Me filleting a snapper

My snapper dish

Challenge #5 - tasting - we were given a soup and had to pick out the 20 ingredients. This was tough! I quickly got through 12, then it was a slow slog to 20 with a bit of guess work in between. But I got to 20 so happy with that. Found out later - only got 11 out of 20 right! ha! Just passed! 

Challenge #6 - 22 minutes and a mystery box. 22 minutes to cook a dish for 1, with some or all the ingredients in the mystery box and a few other basic ingredients around. So the mystery box contents = fresh beets, zucchini flowers, goats cheese, chicken wings and vegemite. Apparently bonus points for mixing things that don't normally go together. I made crispy panko vegemite chicken wings with a goats cheese dipping sauce. Yes, you read that correct, Vegemite! I did it inplace of salt! Figured that would work! Picture below. I was worried, in the time frame the chicken wasn't cooked. Thankfully it was! PHEW! And George liked it, so happy!


Me concentrating really hard!

My crispy panko vegemite chicken wings with goats cheese dipping sauce
My dish pose with George

George and Travis hacking into my dish. Me looking nervous... hoping it's cooked through

We finished the day with another cooking demo from George. This time, it was eyes only - so we could sit back and enjoy the show. George showed us a few things about chicken. And I learnt a few neat tricks to best use different parts of the chicken. Whether I'll replicate in the kitchen, I'm not so sure. I rather buy the bits I want from the butcher. But you never know when it will come in handy.








All in all, a full on day. As I sit hear typing and waiting to be picked up for lunch, where the ambassadors / winners will be announced, recap on yesterday's events. I don't care if I win or not. I had a great weekend. I met a bunch of fantastic new people. I cooked. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I met George. And I did my best in the challenges. I can't complain.

As they say in Fiji - Bula vinaka Bulla Cream! 



Update:

I won! I'm the seasonal sensation! ;)

If you want to see my recipes and videos - check out the Bulla Cream website - www.bullacream.com.au




 
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