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Dishing Up Darwin

Dishing Up Darwin puts the next generation of young chefs head to head to test their culinary skills.

Applications are now open for food-ies aged 12–25, with the competition  heating up in Youth Week next month. 

12 contenders will be whittled down to four to compete in the NT fresh  produce final. The finalists will also be treated to a food tour of Darwin to learn more about the Territory’s finest produce. 

Last year’s winner Zandro Lagman, 17, says being involved was a great chance to test his skills and meet plenty of like-minded young food fans.

“I grew up eating and cooking great food, so I thought I’d do something new and try to test myself,” he says. 

“I met a lot of people like me, young people who love to cook.” 

Over the four heats, Lagman cooked a variety of recipes, but when crunch  time came he took out the title with a barramundi and rice salad dish. 

“I tried my best to cook healthy and cook light,” says Lagman.

“I grew up with Filipino cooking, which has really heavy flavours, so I tried to develop my own style in Aus-tralia that’s easier on the stomach.”

Lagman encourages anyone who is at home in the kitchen to sign up. 

“Just try it – it’s something fun,” he says.

“It’s not going to be Master Chef, it’s not tense – it’s casual, fun and exciting.”

Last year’s judge David Taylor says he was impressed by the ability of the young cooks.

“I was quite surprised at the amazing talents of the young people that  competed,” he says.

“They took it seriously, they really considered what they were going to make on the final day, and as far as judging goes, they worked clean and neatly and efficiently, producing some great dishes with amazing NT produce.” 

Taylor says there is one main ingredi-ent the judges looking for. 

“Passion – if you have a passion for cooking, enter. Enter. Enter,” he says.


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