MOVE over MasterChef – these cooks are deadly!
CONTEST HEATS UP: Preparing for the challenge were, back from left, Sandie Stanton, Nina Axelsen, Penny Milson, Elizabeth Brown, James Morris, Rachelle Lee and Melissa Gogos. At the front, Bill Allan, Jye Millgate and Stephanie Barton couldn’t wait to get cooking. Photo: Gareth Gardner 281015GGB01
While it might not have quite reached the dizzying heights of the TV cooking show, The Heart Foundation’s Deadly Cook Off was just as intense at times.
An initiative of the Heart Foundation, modelled on a Koori Cook Off in the Illawarra region, the culinary challenge at Coledale Community Centre was a tasty success from every angle.
Heart Foundation New England regional health promotion co-ordinator Penny Milson floated the idea past Sandie Stanton and the HealthWISE team in Tamworth and, before long, the challenge was under way.
Key to the program was highlighting how eating healthily could also be delicious, which was right in line with the HealthWISE philosophy.
Four cook-off teams, each with three members, a team leader, and a tight $60 budget, shopped the day before, then prepared and presented a main course and dessert to local elders group Busy Bees, who did the MasterChef judges proud in their summation.
“It was a great opportunity to involve our community in cooking with healthy, fresh and traditional ingredients,” Ms Stanton said.
“As health workers, we recognise how healthy eating and an active lifestyle is key to a strong heart. Our Deadly Cook Off promoted the use of fresh vegetables, lean meats and using healthier fats.”
After the tasters made their judgments, the purple team of Shelley O’Leary, Mark Carr and Neteeka O’Leary, led by Nioka O’Leary, was declared the winner.
Runners-up were the orange team, composed of Stephanie Stanton, Holly Power and Shanice Baker, led by Sandie Stanton.
The pink team of Bartonlee Stanton, Jye Millgate and Geoff Rutherford, led by Bill Allan, and yellow team of Melissa Gogos, Sabrina Briggs and Makita Seden, led by Hannah Briggs, competed strongly, but the proof was in the pudding.
“To see the joy on the faces of the winning team was just gold,” Ms Milson said. “Everybody’s already talking about the next one.”
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