Battle of our finest chefs

TWO Coffs Coast chefs will battle it out with 10 other Mid North Coast chefs tomorrow in an attempt to have their dish crowned the Signature Dish of the Mid North Coast.

Gerard Geerligs, head chef at Bluebottles Brasserie at Woolgoolga, and Lee O'Carroll, executive chef of the Flooded Gums Restaurant at the Bonville International Golf Resort, have been chosen as finalists in the inaugural Mid North Coast Signature Dish Awards.

The challenge was to create a main course created from locally produced meat, poultry, game or seafood and accompanied by two other locally produced components. They are also asked to match the dish with a local wine.

Just 12 chefs from Woolgoolga to Port Stephens were invited to the final cook-off at Port Macquarie tomorrow, after which one will be named the winner.

Gerard's creation is a duck duet of duck breast on a chilli corn cake with bok choy, sweet and sour cranberry chutney and soy jus served with a confit duck leg spring roll.

“I didn't want to use seafood, because I thought everyone would. So I rang around and found a duck producer in South West Rocks. I was quite nervous to start with, but it's really up to what it's like on the day,” he said.

Lee, on the other hand, opted for a favourite from the menu at Flooded Gums, the locally grown eye fillet of beef with asparagus, pancetta, fire roasted Spanish onion, saffron and sweet corn puree and rosemary aioli.

“I'm a little nervous. It's going to be different, I'm in a foreign kitchen and being watched and judged,” he said.

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