The contestants will work with the finest imported ingredients, Australian barbecue grills, and Furi professional chef knives. Students will start out by creating a variety of lamb dishes. For the dessert challenge, the aspiring chefs will work with wattleseed, which comes from the acacia shrub. When ground, the seed resembles and tastes like coffee muddled with chocolate and hazelnut. This distinctive spice will be added to mousses, cheesecake, and chutney. Alumni competitors get to work with more exotic items, like western rock lobsters, wild tiger prawns, and royal Tasmanian salmon.
This competition comes with more than culinary imports. Audiences can feast their ears on one of Australia's best musical ambassadors, Colin Hay. After finding international fame as the lead singer for Eighties band Men at Work, Hay forged his own path as a well-respected solo artist. At his intimate acoustic concert, he'll perform new songs, such as "I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You," which was featured on the soundtrack to Zach Braff's sleeper Garden State, as well as stripped-down versions of "Who Can It Be Now," "Overkill," and his biggest hit (the unofficial Australian anthem) "Down Under." Hay's visit to Miami won't be all work, however. As a man who knows his way around a Vegemite sandwich (having enjoyed a delicious one from "a man in Brussels/He was six foot four and full of muscles"), Hay will sing for his supper and then join the panel of gastronomes to judge the competition. Judges and guests will not be expected to feast solely upon contending entries. Sought-after chef Athol Wark has been flown in from the homeland to show the contestants how the damn thing is done and delight gourmands with his original take on Australian cuisine.