Taste inspiration with The Ingredient Challenge

Wandering Cooks is loved by Fish Lane locals, small businesses, South East Queensland producers and influential players in the Brisbane food scene. January 2020 sees The Ingredient Challenge kick off at this Fish Lane institution, giving small businesses the opportunity to work with a list of produce that is available from the local farmers that Wandering Cooks celebrate. 

Participants will be supported by mentors including Naomi Zavackas of The Jam Pantry, Phil Marchant of Sourced Grocer and Gauge, and Geoff Abel of Flock Eatery over a whole month of workshops to develop menus that are a direct response to the ingredients.

They will be introduced to a range of local farmers and suppliers varying from Tommerups Dairy Farm to Neighbourhood Farms, Fair Game Wild Venison and Little Acre Mushrooms, all based in and around Brisbane and its farming region.

Things kick off on Sunday, January 19 with a farm tour, when participants will tour local farms and discuss the produce on offer with the farmers and producers. This will provide a big picture of the complexities of the local food system, and help participants understand the mindset they will need to approach sourcing from the ever-shifting locally-sourced ingredient list.

Monday, January 20 will be the first workshop of the challenge – the brainstorm. In this workshop, participants will meet their mentors and circulate ideas, recipes and food knowledge. The following Monday will be the second workshop – a tasting and plating event with an elimination. Participants will bring one or more menu items for a tasting, and will proceed to the next round if the mentors believe they’re ready. 

Monday, February 3 is the third workshop of the challenge – mise en place. This workshop is all about putting ideas into practice and working on taste and presentation within a commercial kitchen environment.

Monday, February 10 is the fourth and final workshop – the full menu tasting and awards night. The mentors and the team at Wandering Cooks will taste participants’ full menu, and see if they can handle the pressure! Those who succeed can expect some great rewards, and everyone else will be invited back for the next challenge. 

If you’re ready to take the leap, register here! 

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