Students go nuts over macadamias
CULINARY creativity was at the fore last week when eight James Nash State High students competed for top honours in a cooking competition at Gympie TAFE.
The competition, organised by the Australian Macadamia Society, saw four teams of two challenged to produce a three-course meal featuring macadamia nuts in each dish, for no more than $50.
Guided by James Nash hospitality teachers Donna Johnston and Jo Laing, the students came up with a range of mouth-watering recipes which they perfected on willing James Nash teachers, who, it’s believed, had to punch a couple of extra holes in their belts as a result.
Australian Macadamia Society industry development officer Patrick Logue said while it was the first time the competition had been brought to Gympie, it had been running for three years.
He hoped other Gympie schools would get involved next year.
The aim is to show students that using macadamia products is easy and not expensive, and to give them a taste of the hospitality industry. Winners have an opportunity to cook with some of the state’s best chefs through work experience at Brisbane’s Restaurant II.
Letesha Hanley and Aylish O’Sullivan’s pumpkin and macadamia nut lasagne entrée, poached barramundi on a bed of asparagus with garlic mayonnaise and parsley and macadamia nut pesto main, and chocolate and macadamia nut tart with chocolate ganache and berry coulis dessert, received top marks from the three judges, including Wide Bay Institute of TAFE chef Darren Sandrini.
“I’m proud of them. They’ve done really well and the kids are proud of themselves as well,” Mrs Johnston said.
For more recipes visit www.macadamias.org