GREAT OPPORTUNITY: Ballina RSL Club apprentice chef Haley Moreland is a finalist in a national culinary competition with a dish based on crabs.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY: Ballina RSL Club apprentice chef Haley Moreland is a finalist in a national culinary competition with a dish based on crabs. Graham Broadhead

Young chef in culinary comp final

HALEY Moreland is very excited.

The 19-year-old Ballina RSL Club apprentice chef is a finalist in a national culinary competition, which could open doors for her career as the winner will be mentored by three chefs and receive an international scholarship.

The third-year apprentice is one of 32 finalists nationally in the Fonterra: Proud to be a Chef competition, and will head to Melbourne on February 21 to not only compete but to take part in tours of the kitchens of top restaurants.

"It's pretty exciting. It's awesome," said the Alstonville teenager.

Haley entered the competition in October last year, submitting her recipe for a crab terrine with a fresh, crisp salad and lemon myrtle mayonnaise.

The dish had to include a dairy product, because Fonterra is a dairy producer. Haley met this condition with the mayonnaise, yogurt and a parmesan wafer.

She described the dish as a "summer share plate".

She chose mudcrab as the centrepiece of the dish as she wanted to feature local produce.

"Ballina is well known for its seafood, but prawns have been done quite a lot," she said.

"It took me a while to develop the dish."

She hopes to be able to use local crabs and lemon myrtle grown at Bagotville when she cooks the dish for the judges in Melbourne - her order has been sent.

She will have two hours to prepare the meal.

The winner will be mentored by executive pastry chef at the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney, Anna Polyviou; executive chef at Estelle, Northcote, Josh Pelham, and food services and global event specialist Peter Wright.


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