TIM Margerison says it was nerve-wracking, but such valuable experience, he'd be happy to do it all again.
The fourth year apprentice chef and his boss, Coffs ExServices Club head chef Michael Ellis, are finalists in the Clubs NSW Chef's Table competition, one of only 12 teams to make the grade.
To reach the finals, the culinary teams had to submit a three-course menu, accompanied by a comprehensive document which included a section on the operation of their kitchen.
The menus had to demonstrate the entrants' creativity and knowledge of cooking skills within a given budget.
On Wednesday as part of the Finals judging, the duo cooked and presented their menu to an audience of 23 dinner guests and four judges.
Mr Margerison said it added to the pressure that the judge in the kitchen had cooked for many famous people.
He said the Coffs Ex-Services team chose local produce for dishes like their oyster and brie tartlets, crab and salmon salad and seafood bisque.
Guests, including club directors, also enjoyed Mandalong lamb with fondant potatoes and a shiraz jus, rounding off the meal with a dessert of caramelised delicious apples with a champagne sabayon.
The winners of the competition will be announced at the Clubs NSW Awards of Excellence in Sydney on June 1.