MEDIA RELEASE – 13 August 2010
Local chef, owner of Grazing at Gundaroo and co-creator of the new Four Chefs, Tom Moore, was this week announced the ‘Young Restaurateur of the Year’ at the 2010 Electrolux Appetite for Excellence awards. The awards were held on Monday night at an exclusive reception in Sydney attended by Australia’s leading chefs, restaurateurs and food industry luminaries.
“I am thrilled to have picked up this award, not only for myself but for Grazing. Having won the Australian Tourism Award for Restaurants within the last two years, and with our recent Four Chefs training initiative, it caps off what has been a very huge few years for us,” said Tom.
Tom operates Grazing in the small but energetic country town of Gundaroo, just outside Canberra, with his wife Crystal. He says that Grazing brings to life his vision for growing and cooking with beautiful organic heirloom produce straight from his own kitchen gardens.
“The award win is testament to both the talent and very high quality of food and wine we have right here in the Canberra region. It proves once again that you definitely don’t have to go to Sydney or Melbourne for a top food and wine experience,” he continued.
The path to winning the Young Restaurateur of the Year award was quite intense for Tom. He submitted two written essays outlining his food philosophy and he was then interviewed by a judging panel comprised of Australia’s leading chefs and hospitality leaders including Peter Gilmore, Luke Mangan, Christine Mansfield and Lucy Allon. He also took part in a food produce tour from Byron to Sydney visiting small suppliers/producers of fruit and vegetables, nuts, meat and fish to better understand boutique suppliers who strive for excellence in areas of sustainability and organic produce.
Aside from his participation in these awards, Tom has also been very busy launching the Four Chefs initiative. Together with Ross O’Reilly from Knead Patisserie, Andy Hollands from Ellacure and Chris Whitlock from Lambert Vineyards, who currently have 10 apprentices between them, The Four Chefs is an apprentice training and acceleration program. Their program aims to take their apprentices from paddock to plate and provide a rich and insightful educational journey for their budding chefs.
” We aim to educate our apprentices and trainees from paddock to plate, focusing on crucial areas like working with local and regional produce and making linkages with local growers,” Tom said.
Taking our apprentices onto a farm, getting their hands into the soil and hearing from the producers provides an opportunity that no class room can replicate. We don’t wait to their final year to put these guys into the cooker – we get them in early and wait till their well done!”
Part of the program is the new monthly Market Kitchen held at the Capital Region Farmers Market. The apprentices talk to the growers, select fresh produce, design a menu then create the dishes in front of the public at the market.
“By training young local people, we are able to help provide a place of employment and hopefully the start of a good career,” he concluded.
Tom’s award win this week sees him win a once-in-a-lifetime experience to expand on his food and wine skills, learn from some of the world’s best chefs and be inspired by a trip to London to attend the cocktail reception for the announcement of the top 50 restaurants in the world, – so he’ll soon be rubbing shoulders with the best of the best!
More information on Tom and Grazing can be found at www.grazing.com.au More information on The Four Chefs is available at www.fourchefs.com.au