Top Daylesford chefs cook for prize

The Daylesford Macedon region was well represented at a cook-off starring regional Victoria’s best chefs. 

Four out of the nine regional chefs selected were from the Daylesford and Macedon region. 

Competing chefs were recognised as the best in the state.

The chef’s competed in a cook-off for the Golden Plate Awards at Comcater showrooms in South Melbourne on Tuesday.

Mercato at Daylesford head chef and owner Richard Mee competed at the Golden Plate Awards cook off on Tuesday. Picture: Mercato at Daylesford.

Mercato at Daylesford head chef and owner Richard Mee competed at the Golden Plate Awards cook off on Tuesday. Picture: Mercato at Daylesford.

Mercato at Daylesford chef Richard Mee competed alongside fellow Daylesford chef Hugh Maxwell from Perfect Drop and Matt Carnell from Belvadere Social. 

David Robson from La Bonta Kyneton was also selected as a finalist. 

The competition was a mystery box cook-off.

Chefs were allocated a mystery box and were asked to cook an entree and main course using ingredients from the box.  

Renowned food experts judged finished dishes based on presentation and flavour. 

Golden Plate Awards state manager Pamela Jewson said the award aimed to highlight the quality of chefs in regional Victoria. 

“We recognise that the chefs are outside their own kitchens, and that this is an improvised meal that challenges them in terms of imagination, practicalities, and time,” Ms Jewson said. 

“We know the blood sweat and tears that go on behind the scenes in the kitchens and we wanted to reward the chefs that are making regional Victoria shine.”

Mercato at Daylesford chef Richard Mee said it was great the Golden Plate Awards put the spotlight on talented chefs in country Victoria at the competition. 

“It is just really good for all the regions,” Mr Mee said.

“The competition highlights what the regions are doing and how many talented chefs you find in country Victoria compared to the city.”

The state competition winner was awarded a luxury holiday. The Golden Plate Awards program has aimed to promote excellence and continuous improvement in the hospitality industry throughout regional Victoria for 15 years.