Ballina chefs top State for the third time
by MARY MANN
GERHARD SPATZ'S mates called him 'cocky' for wanting to win a hat-trick in the Clubs NSW Chef's Table awards.
But 'cocky' has now become a nickname the award-winning chef embraces.
Ballina RSL Club chefs Mr Spatz and Nathan Sherwood took the top spot in the competition for the third year in a row, leaving no doubt they are the best.
Mr Sherwood was interstate on holidays yesterday.
"It's just natural for us. We try to work to perfection every day in our kitchen," Mr Spatz said.
The competition required the chefs to construct a three-course meal using foods costing no more than $20 per person. Two judges watched in the kitchen and another from the restaurant floor.
"One of the head judges on the night said he was aware of our good reputation and that he was out to mark us hard," Mr Spatz said.
"But he said our entry was faultless. So much so that he tried to find a smudge underneath his plate."
Clubs NSW chairman Peter Newell said the win was one the entire Far North Coast should be proud of.
"To win three years running ... is testament to their skill and creativity," Mr Newell said.
He said by purchasing local produce and using their significant buying power, clubs had been able to lift the quality of their menus without charging exorbitant prices.