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Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival Food Fight Winner

Local favourite Thomas Boyd of Margan Wine won the popular vote for his dessert of milk parfait with macadamia, honey and thyme at Hunter Culinary Association's (HCA) Food Fight this week held in the Hunter Valley.

Part of Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival, the event was a sell out with over 320 guests dining on four courses with matched wines by four of the country's best up-and-coming chefs and voting for their favourite to eventually decide the winner.

It was a clash of champions that saw chefs' Eilish Maloney (Formerly Saint Peter Paddington), Thomas Boyd (Margan), Troy Crisante (Quay Restaurant) and George Mirosevich (Restaurant Mason) battle it out and attempt to woo diners and take home the prestigious honour.

Dubbed "The Ledbury All Stars" all had the honour of cooking alongside Brett Graham, who helms acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant The Ledbury in London and their impressive team work was on show again, pulling out all the stops to create a dish of their choice.

The first delicious course was created by Maloney, who served dry aged snapper, last season's birch fermented tomatoes and preserved lemon. Crisante's dish was the second course, a stunning nduja with peas and black olive. The third course created by Mirosevich was a delicious roast and braised lamb with garlic and Jerusalem artichoke; and dessert was Boyd's mouth-watering milk parfait, macadamia, honey and thyme.

HCA Chairman Gus Maher said 'What's extra special about this event is that it not only gives chefs a forum to showcase their talents, but the Food Fight auction we hold on the day also raises money for our range of scholarships. The Brett Graham Scholarship is one of those, providing a young chef the opportunity to work with Brett Graham at The Ledbury – an incredible experience shared by each of today's chefs.'

Hosted by Colin Fassnidge and Matt Kemp, the two celebrity chefs are long time supporters of HCA and were in fine form entertaining guests and working the room during the auction.

Speaking to alluxia after the Food Fight, Boyd said he was confident of winning with his show stopping dessert, which you can find on the menu at Margan Restaurant. The inspiration for his dessert was honey harvested from hives at Margan Estate in Broke.

Mark it in your diaries as the Hunter Culinary Food Fight is an annual event and there are still events taking place this month for Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, so make your escape plan to the Hunter Valley.

To book your Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival accommodation, browse our handpicked collection of Hunter Valley stays here.

Images: Dom Cherry supplied
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