Applications are now open for the 2022 MCIE Culinary Competition. The aim of the competition is to discover culinary talents and to nurture the creativity of the present commercial cookery student cohort.


The competition is an opportunity for commercial cookery students to explore in greater deal, elements of their theoretical and practical lessons and apply their skills in a time-pressured environment, as would be expected by the industry.  Competitors work in teams of three to create a three-course menu of their choosing (or design) and then prepare the meal for a panel of professional guest chefs.  

The competition assesses teams against multiple criteria, such as cooking techniques, food quality, innovativeness, production, time management, teamwork, food safety, work health and safety and finally dish presentation and taste.  

2022 MCIE Culinary Challenge

Open to MCIE Commercial Cookery students enrolled in the following intakes:

  • SIT30816 July 2020 intake (Currently in Diploma Term 2 Occ 16405)

  • SIT30816 Sep 2020 intake (Currently in Diploma Term 2 Occ 20685)

  • SIT30816 Jan 2021 intake (Currently in Diploma Term 1 Occ 16925 + 21143)

  • SIT30816 Apr 2021 intake (Currently in Cert IV Term 2 Occ 17882)

  • SIT30816 July 2021 intake (Currently in Cert IV Term 1 Occ 18351) 


Maximum number of teams that can participate is 6 (Six) 
Minimum numbers required to hold the competition is 4 (four) 

The expression of interest will be entertained on ‘first come first serve’ basis so don’t delay, and preference will be given to 1 team from each intake groups! 

Thursday 28th July 2022

Application open (emails to all students, posters in the kitchens, presentation by committee members in classes) 


Thursday 4th Aug 2022
Expression of interest to be submitted by (this date can be extended until 11th if required)
The expression of interest will be entertained on ‘first come first serve’ basis so don’t delay, and preference will be given to 1 team from each intake groups! 


Thursday 11th Aug 2022
Applications close


Tuesday 16th Aug 2022
Acceptance of participation email sent to teams  

The organising committee will conduct briefing with Team Leaders during this week.   



Tuesday 23rd Aug 2022
Teams to submit first draft menu (including equipment list, ingredient list, costing etc)  


Between Monday 29 Aug and Tuesday 6 Sep 2022

Teams can arrange their practice session with the organising committee between these dates (MCIE will provide ingredients for one practice session). Schedule to be confirmed based on kitchen availability.



Wednesday 7th Sep 2022

Final submission of menus, ingredients, equipment and costing.



Monday 12th Sep 2022
Team Leaders to check and confirm the availability of their ingredients  


Wednesday 14th Sep 2022

A day prior to the competition, teams can bring in their specialised equipment (if any) between 1400 hrs to 1700 hrs and also:

  • check their ingredients 

  • check workstations 

  • check equipment 

  • prepare workflow plan for next day final  


Thursday 15th Sep 2022
Day of Competition 
Station set up: 0800 hrs
Briefing: 0815 hrs
Cooking commencement: 0830 hrs
Final Presentation: 1230 hrs (Dishes presented on the table)
Judges tasting to commence: 12:45 pm (Teams go by sequence and each team will get 5 min to assemble 3 plates of each 3 dishes for judges) 

Prior to the final day, participants will have the kitchen available for 3 hours between 1400 hrs to 1700 hrs on Wednesday 14 Sep 2022 to: 

  • check their ingredients 

  • check workstations 

  • check equipment 

  • prepare workflow plan for next day final  

MCIE Training Kitchen

112 Peel St North Melbourne 3032

NIL – Sponsored by MCIE 

Winning Team

Members to receive an individual trophy, certificates, names embedded on MCIE ‘Culinary Challenge Winners Plaque and a special prize


1st Runner Up

Members to receive individual trophy, certificates and a special prize


2nd Runner Up

Members to receive individual trophy and certificates


  • All participants to receive a Statement of Participation
  • Photographs in the next edition of MCIE Industry Newsletter

Competitors will compete on a team basis – team of 3 members each  

(+ 1 additional member as backup. Back-up member will only participate if any full member becomes not available for any compassionate reasons). 

Step 1

Interested participants to form a team of 3 (+1) and choose 1 member as Team Leader who will be leading the team and responsible to communicate with MCIE Organising committee on behalf of the team. 


Step 2

Team Leader (in consultation with their respective Trainer) to send expression of interest to participate in the competition by filling in the application form below. 


2022 MCIE Culinary Challenge

Step 3

Upon receiving the expression of interest and based on the proposed menu, MCIE Organising committee along with the respective Trainer will finalize the entry and contact the team members by email if their application is successful, no later than Wednesday 17th Aug 2022. 


Step 4

Upon successful entry confirmation, team leaders to complete the application form and provide required details to the Organising Committee as requested. This includes menu with ingredient list, equipment list and costing of menu for 4 serves.   


Step 5:

All teams will get a chance to practice their dishes in the next 3 weeks. Teams can request for 1 set of all ingredients for 1 practice session and will be required to submit their ingredient list and costing according to the menu submitted at the time of expression of interest. Practice sessions will be coordinated between teams subject to training kitchen availability before or after the regular classes. Teams are allowed to make changes to their menus after the practice sessions however no further practice session is guaranteed.


Step 6:

Team leaders will be required to submit the final menu, ingredients list, equipment list and costing by 3 pm Tuesday 6th Sep 2022 by email to the Organising committee on No further changes will be allowed after this in the menus.

MCIE Organising Committee consists of

  • Chef Andrew Dawson 
  • Chef Steven Liu 
  • Chef Arun Kumar 
  • Chef Alok Pathran  
  • Bala Sathiamurthy 
  • Competitors will compete on Team basis – Team of 3 members each. (3 Team members + 1 additional member as back up only. Back up member will only participate if any full member becomes not available for any compassionate reasons). Each team to choose 1 member as a Team Leader who will be responsible to correspond with the organising committee
  • Teams shall have a budget of total $200 to create a 3-course menu for 4 serves of each dish. Teams will have to provide their costing of each dish.

  • Menus should reflect modern techniques, cost effectiveness and nutritional balance

It is recommended to choose variety of cooking methods and ingredients.


NOTE: Chosen dishes can be inspired from the existing menus however the final dishes must have an individual touch and each team should submit a short write up explaining their individual touch and the inspiration behind it. Teams would also be required explain their inspiration behind their menus to the Jury members)


  • Trainers will be mentoring teams at the planning stage however they cannot assist in the final cooking process

  • MCIE will provide basic kitchen equipment such as, cooktops, ovens, workspace, refrigerators, basic dry goods (provided you have submitted your ingredients list), water and hygiene equipment.


  • If teams do not submit the full list of equipment required with tentative timings of usage on the competition day, they may end up with not enough equipment during the cooking on the competition day. g., Combi Oven not available during the times they need it.

  • Teams (all 3 members) must be ready (in full uniforms with their tool kits) at the designated kitchen area at sharp 08:15 on the day of competition to attend the competition rules and occupational health and safety briefing prior to commencing the competition.

  • All Team members must wear clean set of full uniforms at all times. Uniform to include – MCIE Chef Jacket with white studs, MCIE White Head cap, White neckerchief, White Apron, Chequered Trousers and safety shoes. Chef Jacket and Head cap must have MCIE logos.

NOTE: Extra jackets and aprons available just in case students require them – no cost to students


  • All Ingredients will be provided by MCIE according to submitted ingredient list by the teams- MCIE Organising team may contact the Team Leader (but not later than 3 days before the competition) for any item unavailability upon receiving the final ingredient list. In that case teams will have a choice to replace their item with alternatives or bring in the item with them and cost will be reimbursed by MCIE.

  • Team leaders to ensure they confirm availability of their ingredients with the Organising Committee by no later than Monday 12th Sep 2022

  • No pre-prepared food items can be brought into the kitchen or can be used including marinades.

  • All food stuff and equipment tat teams wants to bring in must be pre-approved in writing by organising committee.

  • All teams will be responsible to set up their own tables in the restaurant for final presentation of the dishes – Tables and white tablecloth will be provided by MCIE however any additional props if desired should be arranged by the teams

  • Competitors are responsible for the clean-up of their working area at all times and the entire kitchen during and after the competition. All participants must be available for the final cleaning and responsibilities will be assigned by the Chef In charge.

  • Teams must not leave the kitchen during and after the cooking is over, until all cleaning is completed and allowed by Chef In-Charge.

  • All teams must agree and follow the rules at all times. Teams will have to sign an acceptance form to these competition rules after their application has been accepted.

  • MCIE shall not under any circumstances be responsible for any injuries, nor any loss or damage to any goods, equipment or personal effects.

  • MCIE Organising Committee reserves the right to modify these rules if required and their decision would be final. All team leaders will be informed of any changes.

Marking Process

The Jury (3 External Judges – Industry Chefs) will judge the competition.

The Jury decisions will be final.

Marking Scheme

Total Maximum Score: 100

Every team starts with maximum points, but you lose marks for mistakes

Teams will be judged on the following criteria with points scored for each section:

Total /5 Points – Attendance and behaviour

  • On time arrival at 8:00 am

  • Ready on time for briefing fully dressed in MCIE Uniform at 8:15 am

  • Set up of workstations

  • All the participants in this group are able to work within a group setting demonstrating respect towards each other, the jury and the team managers before, whilst or after the conclusion of the competition

Total /60 Points – Cooking Techniques, Food quality, Innovativeness and Production

  • The team demonstrates an excellent understanding of the correct techniques and knowledge during the preparation of their specific dishes

  • Correct basic preparation of food – Preparation should be practical, acceptable methods that exclude unnecessary ingredients. Appropriate cooking techniques must be applied for all ingredients. The dishes the participants prepare are of a ‘saleable’ nature and do not have any deficiencies with regards to colour, consistency, taste, and temperature, and presentation.

  • Taste of the food – Taste, seasoning, flavour and colour should all conform to current industry standards in terms of nutritional values.

  • The dishes the participants prepare are innovative and shows creativity

  • The participants can work effectively to ensure their dishes are ready for service

Total /15 Points – Dish Presentation

  • Final Presentation of the dishes.

  • The dish is presented appropriately, attractively and adheres to all basic principles to a high degree in terms of:

  • Food temperature.

  • Plate temperature.

  • Plate size.

  • Quantity of food on plate.

  • Cleanliness of plate.

  • Timely presentation of the dishes.

  • Write up/ Explanation of the reason for choosing each dish

Total /15 Points

Time Management, Team Coordination & Working under pressure in their designated role

·       Correct utilisation of working time to ensure punctual completion.

·       Overall workflow plan

·       The team is able to work and present food under pressurised competition environment.

  • Each participant of the team is adept in managing the section of the kitchen allocated to her/him and collaborates efficiently with the other members of the team when presenting to the jury for marking.

Total /5 Points – Food safety & OHS

  • Overall organisation including cleaning – during and after cooking

  • Coordination among team members

  • The team is able adhere to and observe standard Food safety and OHS practices with NO exceptions and be able to identify any issues within the kitchen and be able to demonstrate an appropriate course of action to rectify the problem. The team receives and stores their ingredients 100% correctly. All items are labelled, dated, wrapped and stored at correct temperatures.

All scores will be collated. The team with the highest points will be the winner.

For further information, please contact your Chef Trainer or MCIE Organising Committee.

Prior to the final day participants will have the kitchen available for 3 hours between 1400 hrs to 1700 hrs on Wednesday 14th September 2022 to check their working stations. Please note that NO MIS EN PLACE IS ALLOWED ON THIS DAY

The following list provides a good beginning checklist of what is considered general guidelines for both competitors who will be participating and judges who will evaluate them.

  • Ingredients and garnishes should harmonize with the main part of the dish and conform to contemporary standards of nutritional values.

  • Unnecessary ingredients should be avoided, and practical, acceptable cooking methods should be applied.

  • All dishes should display a variety of techniques, designs and shapes and should be visually appetizing.

  • Competitors are encouraged to use a variety of cooking methods and ingredients.

  • Use correct cooking, presentation, colour and flavour combination.

  • Dressing the rims of the plates results in an unacceptable appearance.

  • Meat should be carved properly and cleanly.

  • Meat slices should be served with the carved surface upwards and arranged in order and size.

  • Numerical harmonizing of meat portions and garnishes is required.

  • Fruits and vegetables must be cut or turned uniformly.

  • Do not use any non-edible items on the plate.

  • Glazing work should be clean and free of defects.

  • Use practical portion size. In general, portion weight should be in keeping with the norms of accepted practice and nutritional balance.

  • Demonstrate clean, crisp workmanship.

  • The punctual presentation of each exhibit at the appointed time is urgent.

  • All teams will be responsible to set up the tables for final presentation of the dishes. Although table decorations are not part of the actual judging, a well presented and attractive table will add to the high-quality image that the competitor attempts to project.

  • JURY decision is FINAL.

2022 MCIE Culinary Challenge