MCIE Culinary Challenge April 2020 

The aim of the competition is to discover culinary talents and to nurture the creativity of the present commercial cookery student cohort while these Chefs are still on their training wheels!

Challenge Prizes:

  • Winning Team – All team members will receive an Individual Winner Trophy, Medal, Participation Certificate and their names embedded on the MCIE plaque of ongoing ‘Culinary Challenge Winners’ plus a surprise award from our sponsors.
  • 1st Runners Up Team – Team members will receive an Individual Trophy, Medal, Certificate and a Culinary book
  • 2nd Runner up – Team members will receive a Medal, Certificate and Culinary book
  • All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation and a Culinary book

Competition photographs will be published on social media, MCIE website and in the next edition of the MCIE Industry Newsletter, particpants must agree to allowing their photos to be used for these promotional activities.

Competition Day – Schedule:

Day and Date: Thursday, 23rd April 2020

Competition briefing: 0815 am

Cooking commencement: 0830 am

Final Presentation: 1300 pm

Total cooking time: 4 hrs 30 min.

On Wednesday 22 April 2020 teams will be able to access the kitchen for 3 hours between 1400 pm to 1700 pm to:

  • check their ingredients
  • check work stations
  • check equipment
  • prepare work flow plan for next day final



MCIE Training Kitchen 28-30 Fanning Street Southbank VIC 3032

MCIE Organising Committee consists of:

  • Chef Steven Liu
  • Chef Brian Coulthard
  • Chef Arun Kumar
  • Chef Christine De Losa
  • Chef Gurpreet Bhatia


Entry Requirements:

Competitors will compete on a Team basis – Team of three members each

(An additional member (one person only) must be included as a back-up. The Back-up member will participate only if a full member becomes unavailable for a compassionate reason).


Open to Commercial Cookery (MCIE) students enrolled in the following intakes (Total six groups):

Sep 2018, Jan 2019, Apr 2019, July 2019, Sep 2019 & Nov 2019 including Certificate III & Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery.

Six is the maximum number of teams that can participate in the event

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

It is expected that once an expression of interest is received from a team and participation is confirmed by the organising committee, teams will honour their commitment to participate.


Participation fees:

NIL – Sponsored by MCIE


Enrolment Process:

Step 1:
Interested participants to form a team of three (+1) and choose one member as Team Leader who will be responsible to liaise with the Trainer and MCIE Organising Committee on behalf of the team.

Step 2:
The Team Leader (in consultation with their respective Trainer) will send expression of interest to participate in the competition by an email to MCIE Organising Committee on
 Expression of interest email include the following:

  • the names, email ids and contact numbers of all team members
  • a planned three-course menu and the inspiration behind it (Please refer to the Competition Details below for more information).

Expression of Interest Submission to be submitted by email to
Submission Due Date and Time – Thursday 12th March 2020 by 3 pm

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 Leader by email if their application is successful not later than close of business on Wednesday 18th March 2020.

Step 4:
Once participation has been confirmed, Team Leaders must liaise with the Organising Committee to book their practice session, this must be done by Wednesday 25th March 2020, by 3 pm

All teams are required to practice their menu in the following three weeks. All Teams are entitled to request a set of all ingredients for one practice session and are required to submit their ingredient list and costings according to the menu submitted in their application. The schedule of practice sessions will be coordinated by the Organising Committee subject to training kitchen availability before or after the regular classes. Where required, teams are allowed to make minor changes to fine-tune their menus after their practice sessions.

Step 5:
Team Leaders will be required to submit the final menu, ingredients list, equipment list and costing by 3 pm Tuesday 14th April 2020 by email to the Organising Committee by email to No further changes to the menu will be allowed after this date.


Important Dates:

  • Thursday 12th March 2020 by 3 pm – Expressions of Interest submissions due
  • Wednesday, 18th March 2020 – Organising Committee will inform teams if their  is successful 
  • Wednesday, 25th March 2020 – book their practice session with the Organising Committee
  • Thursda,y 26th March 2020 to Friday 10th April 2020 – practice sessions must be conducted between these dates
  • Tuesday, 14th April 2020 – submit the final menu, ingredients list, equipment list and costing
  • Monday, 20th April 2020 – confirm availability of all ingredients with the Organising Committee
  • Wednesday, 22nd April 2020 – teams will have access to the kitchen between 2pm and 5pm to check their workstations, equipment and ingredients
  • Thursday, 23rd April 2020 – Competition Day



The Judging Team (Three External Judges – Executive Chefs from the industry) will judge the competition on the day.


Competition Rules:

  • Competitors will compete on a Team basis – Team of three members each.

Each team is to choose one member as a Team Leader who will be responsible to liaise with the organising committee.

(An additional member (one person only) must be included as a back-up. The Back-up member will participate only if a full member becomes unavailable for a compassionate reason).

 Each team is required to prepare a 3 Course Menu consisting of:

  • 1st course: Entre’ (Hot or Cold)
  • 2nd course: Main Course (Hot) must include a protein from the list – Fish, Chicken, Duck, Quail, Lamb, Beef or Pork
  • 3rd course: Dessert (Hot, Cold or Hot & Cold)

 (Four serves of each dish are to be prepared – One serve of each dish is to be presented for display by 1300 pm. Three serves of each dish are to be presented for each Jury at designated time. Teams will get 5 min to assemble their plates).

  • Teams have a budget of $150 to create a three-course menu and four serves of each dish. Teams are to provide their costing for each dish at submission of their final menu by 3 pm Tuesday 14th April 2020.
  • 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 any culture or existing recipe, however the final dishes must have an element of uniqueness and an individual touch. Each team must submit a short write up explaining the point of difference and the inspiration behind their dishes. Teams may also be required explain their inspiration to the Jury.)

  • Your Trainers can be your Mentors at the planning stage, however, they cannot assist you in the final cooking process
  • Teams (all three members) must be ready (in full uniforms with their tool kits) at the designated kitchen area, sharp at 08:15 am on the day of the competition to attend the opening briefing of competition rules and occupational health and safety processes to be followed, prior to commencing the competition.
  • All Team members must wear a clean full set of uniform at all times, as provided by MCIE including – Chef Jacket with white studs and MCIE logo, MCIE branded White Head cap, White neckerchief, White Apron, Chequered Trousers and safety shoes.
  • MCIE will provide basic kitchen equipment such as, cooktops, combi oven, small equipment, workspace, refrigerators, freezers, water and hygiene equipment.
    Note: If teams do not submit the full list of equipment required with tentative timings, they may not have access to the equipment they require for preparation an cooking. E.g. The Combi Oven may not be available when needed during the competition.
  •  All Ingredients, fresh and dry goods will be provided according to your submitted ingredients list. Upon receiving your ingredient list, MCIE Organising team may contact the Team Leader (not later than 3 days before the competition) for any unusual item or items if they are not available from our regular suppliers. With permission from the Organising Committee, teams may source their item and on receipt of an invoice, the cost will be reimbursed by MCIE. 
  • Team leaders are to ensure they confirm availability of all ingredients on their ingredient list with the Organising Committee no later than Monday 20th April 2020.
  • All teams will be responsible to set up their own display tables in the restaurant for final presentation of the dishes. A table and a white table cloth will be provided to each team for their display by MCIE, however, any additional props should be arranged by the individual teams.
  • Participants are responsible for the clean-up of their working area, and the entire kitchen at all times 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 or after cooking is over, until all cleaning is completed and permission to leave is granted by the Chef-in-Charge.
  • The presentation of the awards will take place in the training restaurant at the end of competition on the day (approx. 2:30 pm).
  • All teams must agree to and follow the rules at all times. Participants are required to sign a form accepting their responsiblity to follow the competition rules after their application has been accepted.
  • MCIE shall not under any circumstances be liable for any injuries sustained, any loss or damage to personal goods or equipment owned by participants.
  • 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.
  • Prior to the competition day participants will have the kitchen available for 3 hours between 1400 hrs to 1700 hrs on Wednesday 22 April 2020 to:
    • check their ingredients
    • check work stations
    • check equipment
    • prepare work flow plan for next day final

    Please contact any member of the Culinary Competition Organising Committee for clarification or additional information you require.


Marking Process

The Judging Pannel (Three External Judges – Industry Experts) will judge finalist entries as part of the judging process. The decisions of the Judging Pannel will be final.


Marking Scheme

Total Maximum Score: 100
Teams will be judged on the following criteria with points scored for each section:


Total /5 Points – Attendance and behaviour

  • On time arrival
  • Ready on time – fully dressed in MCIE Uniform for briefing at 8:15 am
  • All participants in this group demonstrate respect towards each other, the Judges, Organising Committee and visitors, during and after 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, 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 prepared are innovative and show creativity.
  • The participants work effectively and in coordination with each other to ensure their dishes are ready for presentation on time.


Total /15 Points – Final presentation of the dishes.

The dishes are presented appropriately, attractively, and show excellence in all food presentation principles including:

  • food temperature
  • plate temperature
  • plate size
  • quantity of food on plate
  • colour
  • height
  • cleanliness of plate
  • write up/explanation of the inspiration behind the choices for each dish


Total /15 Points – Workflow and team coordination

Team members demonstrate:

  • Time Management, Team Co-ordination and the ability to Work Under Pressure in their designated role
  • an ability to follow the workflow plan to ensure punctual completion
  • the capacity to present their dishes on time
  • efficiency and an ability to work in a team

Total /5 Points – Food Safety & OHS

Each participant of the team is adept at managing their section of the kitchen and have demonstrated the ability to:

  • follow correct food safe practices with NO exceptions
  • identify OHS issues within the kitchen and demonstrated an appropriate course of action to rectify the problem to ensure a safe workplace.
  • the team stored any leftover ingredients correctly. All items are labelled, dated, wrapped and stored at correct temperatures.

All scores will be collated. The team scoring the highest points will be the winning team.

NOTE: Every team starts with maximum points but loses points for mistakes


General Guidelines for all Teams:

The following checklist is a general guideline for all teams.

  • 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.
  • Each dish should display a variety of techniques, designs and shapes and should be visually appetising.
  • Use a variety of cooking methods and ingredients.
  • Use correct cooking method, presentation, colour and flavour combination.
  • Dressing the rims of the plate should be done with care to avoid an unacceptable appearance.
  • Meat should be carved correctly and cleanly.
  • Portions and garnishes must be numerically harmonised.
  • Cutting or turning of fruit and vegetables should be uniform.
  • Do not use non-edible items on the plate.
  • Glazing work should be clean and free of defects.
  • Practical portion sizes are used. In general, portion weight should be in keeping with the norms of accepted practice and nutritional balance.
  • Demonstrate clean, crisp workmanship.
  • Dishes are presented according to schedule.
  • Teams may dress their display table for visual impact – however, presentation of the display table is not part of the juding criteria.