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8CL Tops Competition in MasterChef Showdown

November 04, 2022 at 2:42 PM

With heightened senses and tastebuds tingling, the Year 8’s at the Boys’ School have developed a taste for the exquisite, channelling their inner foodies the past two Fridays. The boys embarked on an afternoon culinary training led by MasterChef Brett McGregor and Chef Juan Pons de Brauwer. The best four chefs from each Year 8 class were subsequently selected to compete in a MasterChef competition, with our exceptional guests as judges.

In conjunction with our food technology curriculum and the completion of brilliant new cooking facilities, the Year 8 classes enjoyed a Friday afternoon learning about the effects of food consumption on their everyday life. The students quickly realised that the uncontrollable churning in their stomachs before lunchtime that some call ‘hangriness’ is not an old myth but the cause of missing food groups in their diet.

Several students were challenged to a taste test challenge that included unusual foods from various dietary groups, including fats, fruit and vegetables, dairy, and herbs. To Brett’s surprise, the boys guessed every food on the plate, including Benito (fish flakes), saucisson (French salami), dried kiwifruit, and blue cheese. Admittedly, there were a few shrivelled faces at the blue cheese, which was a crowd favourite for those watching, but not so much for those tasting!

The following week food technology teacher, Ms Patsy Hindson, put forward each class's four best young chefs to battle it out in a MasterChef competition. The groups were not told what they were making until the day, giving them no time to sharpen their skills. Brett revealed the task to be lasagne entirely from scratch on the day. They had to make the pasta, the meat filling, and the bechamel sauce before assembling the layers and baking until a golden-brown dish emerged.

The first step attempted was homemade pasta. The flour-to-egg yolk ratio tripped a few teams up, leaving them with dense dough balls that proved challenging to roll later. However, other teams carefully combined their ingredients and ended up with a soft dough that they rolled into sheets and refrigerated for later.

The teams combined the meat filling with delicious fresh vegetables and herbs for a balanced flavour. While this was cooking, the boys started on their bechamel sauce. The sauce proved to be the most challenging part, as to remove the floury taste, the sauce had to be cooked down with patience. Once all three components were completed, the boys layered their lasagne and placed it carefully in the oven.

With the smell of fresh pasta wafting through the building, the dishes were lined up for judges Brett and Juan to taste. Winners were selected by tallying each component with an overall taste score. The boys were brought back in for the big reveal, and the winning team was announced as 8CL, consisting of George Joll, Seb Lunjevich, Andrew Xin and Liam Zhao. An individual best chef award was also awarded to George Joll. Congratulations boys!

We are so grateful to Brett McGregor and Juan Pons de Brauwer for giving up their time to come in to share their expertise with the boys. Thanks to food technology teacher Ms Patsy Hindson for organising this opportunity, and we encourage the boys to continue honing their skills at home.

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