Australian Franchise News – 24-05-10
And Ms Townsend’s Strawberry and White Chocolate Dessert Thingie won first place in the Specialty/Dessert category.
Held in Melbourne on 13 and 14 May and endorsed by the Australian Culinary Federation (ACF), the Australian Global Pizza Challenge 2010 showcased the nation’s top individual pizza makers – whether they were from pizzerias, restaurants and hotels or just a home enthusiast.
Entrants were encouraged to submit their commercially-viable recipes within the following four categories: Chicken or Meat, Seafood, Vegetarian, and Speciality/Dessert
Under the auspices of the ACF, all recipes were assessed by a panel of internationally-recognised chefs and judged on their originality, balance, creativity, as well as excitement factor.
The top 20 finalists were invited to Melbourne to recreate their recipes in cook-off heats for the Australian Global Pizza Challenge title.
Ms Townsend said she was honoured to be named among the nation’s top five pizza chefs after cooking up her Strawberry and White Chocolate Dessert Thingie.
“The competition was amazing fun to be part of as there were so many creative and talented people putting their skills to the test. It was a blur of cheese, sauce and pizza bases and everyone was so passionate about making great tasting pizza,” she said.
“My special recipe was the Strawberry and White Chocolate Dessert Thingie we launched in stores a few months ago. It stunned the judges and won the Specialty/Dessert category. It was also first time a pizza chain has done so well in the competition.
“Another great aspect of the competition was that I got to see that latest pizza trends come to life. There was a definite theme towards attention to quality ingredients which is exactly where we are heading so it was great to see we were on the right track, staying away from gimmicky and concentrating on each individual product.
“It’s given me plenty of inspiration to head back into the kitchen and work on some delicious new treats for Eagle Boys.”
As the Executive Chef at Australia’s second largest pizza maker, Eagle Boys, Melanie Townsend is responsible for researching and developing new pizza bases, toppings and side products.
She has almost two decades experience in the industry having worked as a chef in the United Kingdom and South Africa. She has cooked for celebrities such as Dusty Springfield, Kristen Scott Thomas and Joseph Fiennes.
Ms Townsend recently developed Eagle Boys’ 31 new menu items, including a 92.7% fat free Lighter Choices range with five gourmet pizzas, five premium pizzas, five kids meals, five new side dishes, three new desserts and a gluten-friendly pizza base.
Eagle Boys Pizza is one of Australia’s largest pizza makers and is 100 per cent Australian-owned. It operates more than 303 franchised stores throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory, employing more than 4,000 staff and making more than 17 million pizzas a year.
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