Chef de Cuisine Matthew McCool of Altitude Restaurant was crowned the 2014 Rare Medium Chef of the Year at the Foodservice Australia trade exhibition event this week.
Now on its fifth year in 2014, the competition attracted more than 80 entries from chefs around Australia from all sectors of hospitality, including hotels, restaurants, catering and cafés. Competition Director Gary Farrell and his team of expert chefs carefully selected 32 finalists who cooked for over three days in a live kitchen arena.
Chef Matthew McCool competed aggressively in master-chef-style mystery box challenges. Chef McCool’s Sous Vide Lamb Rack with Pickled Walnuts and Compressed Apple that won him the prestigious title of Chef of the Year.
Throughout the competition, Chef McCool amazed the judges with his professional work-flow, outstanding techniques and creations, such as Bone Marrow Custard, Handmade Ricotta Cheese and Goat’s Cheese Gnocchi, which were all prepared in a strict 60-minute timeframe.
“I’m absolutely honoured to win this title and compete alongside some of our industry’s best chefs. This was my third year competing and each time it is a great learning experience and a chance to interact and connect with other chefs I admire,” said Chef Matthew, who leads a team of 12 chefs at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s Altitude Restaurant.
Chef Matthew has also previously won a number of impressive awards, including the 2013 title of ‘Metropolitan Restaurant of the Year’ for Altitude Restaurant at the Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards for Excellence 2013. He was also named “Chef of the Year” at the 2011 TimeOut Beijing awards.
Since joining Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney in November 2012, Chef Matthew has reinvigorated the menu at Altitude Restaurant by introducing unique cooking techniques and surprising food and flavour combinations.