Kitchen Challenge – Week 6

Meat was the focus for participants in the BSSC Kitchen Challenge with a visit by respected butcher James Clee of Meats on Brooke Street in Inglewood.

James supplies more than 60 restaurants, with people travelling from as far away as Melbourne because of the quality of his produce, so students were certainly learning from the best. Chef Rob Rees reiterated how important it is for chefs to include suppliers in their communications.

Meanwhile, James showed students the process of boning a chicken and explained how different cuts of meat could be used and that even meat cuts come in and out of fashion. He discussed the importance of restaurants working with their butchers to create cost effective dishes for their menus.

In an impressive demonstration he showed how a number 19 chicken could provide the basis of six meals.

“You don’t need large quantities of meat to make a meal,” he explained. “It’s about making a balanced meal.”


Sonia shares her love of food

But the Kitchen Challenge wasn’t just about meat. Students gained great insights into the hospitality industry through Sonia Anthony, from Masons of Bendigo, sharing her culinary journey. Sonia explained how her Slovenian background influenced a real fascination with food—way beyond just eating it—very early on in life. She took students on a journey through her early days cheffing in Melbourne, London, Singapore and eventually Bendigo, where she and partner Nick Anthony created the award-winning Masons of Bendigo.

Sonia talked about the many ways food brings people and communities together, the massive learning curve of starting a business, and the satisfaction that comes from passing skills onto their staff at Masons.


A legend of the Bendigo restaurant scene

A big thank you to local food and wine expert Carlo Barri who shared his expertise of more than 40 years in the industry with students today in the BSSC Kitchen Challenge.

Carlo retired from cooking in 2016, but still indulges his love of food and wine both as a consultant and working front-of-house at a local restaurant.

“Hospitality is a great career,” he told students. “You never stop learning.”

“There is a real shortage of chefs out there, so lots of opportunities. Follow your heart and be passionate about it.”