The Hunter Culinary Association’s (HCA) annual Food Fight is returning for the eighth time in 2017, with four of the country’s leading chefs competing to help raise money for the Brett Graham Scholarship.

The event will be hosted by 4Fourteen’s Colin Fassnidge and Matt Kemp of Q Station in Manly.

The four participating chefs will prepare one lunch course, matched with a Hunter Valley wine, and guests will be asked to vote for their favourite.

This year’s Top Gun themed format is a slight change from the team challenges of years gone by, but HCA chairman Ben Neil said it’s optimistic it will be well received.

“This year’s Food Fight has attracted the highest calibre of talent; and the individual nature of the content will see these chefs putting their all into coming away victorious,” he said.

This year’s participating chefs are:

  • Rob Kabboord, chef de cuisine, Quay Restaurant
  • Aaron Ward, sous chef, Sixpenny
  • Sean Townsend, head chef, Muse Kitchen
  • Gareth Williams, head pastry chef, Restaurant Mason

Townsend, Ward, Kabboord and Williams

A charity auction will be held at the lunch to raise money for the Brett Graham Scholarship, which helps support the Hunter region’s young chefs by offering them the opportunity to work with Graham – originally from Newcastle – at his Michelin-starred restaurant, The Ledbury.

Neil said the HCA’s partnership with Hunter TAFE has helped to propel the scholarship.

“Events such as the Food Fight have seen this scholarship grow from covering just the cost of a recipient’s flight to an additional $10,000 prize, which can make a huge difference to a young chef’s career development.”

The lunch will be held on 6 June at the Crowne Plaza, Pokolbin. Tickets are $175 for HCA members, $220 for non-members and $90 for apprentice chefs.

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