Celebrity chefs on quest to find the best club meal in NSW

May 31, 2023
Aleney De Winter

Kitchen and TV celebrities Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston are gearing up for an exciting adventure across New South Wales in search of the state’s finest club meals.

As ambassadors for the 2023 Your Local Club Perfect Plate Awards, Moran and Roulston will be indulging in numerous competition dishes, spanning from the Moreton Bay bug rigatoni gratin at Sydney Rowing Club to the masala-style lamb shanks at Broken Hill Sturt Club.

From 30 May to 9 July, the public is encouraged to visit over 130 participating NSW clubs to savour the delectable Perfect Plate dishes on offer. By scanning each establishment’s unique QR code or filling out a simple paper form, diners can rate the dishes on a scale of one to five.

ClubsNSW Acting CEO Sallianne Faulkner explained that the Perfect Plate Awards aim to highlight the incredible quality and diversity of food available in NSW clubs. 

“Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston are Australian culinary icons and they both started their careers in clubs, so they are the perfect ambassadors for this competition,” said Faulkner.

While diners can only vote for each Perfect Plate dish once, they are encouraged to sample as many competition dishes as possible across various NSW clubs to increase their chances of winning a prize. Each day during the competition a lucky winner will receive a $100 eftpos gift card, and the two diners who vote for the most Perfect Plate dishes will win a ‘foodie getaway’ for two, valued at over $3,000 each.

The top 13 clubs with the highest average scores for their dishes, based on patron ratings, will be crowned winners in their respective regions. Additionally, three state-wide winners will be announced across small, medium, and large club categories.

A fourth-generation farmer, Moran still owns a farm in the NSW Central Tablelands and is particularly excited to see what clubs in that region create for Perfect Plate.

“I want to see clubs utilise as much fresh, local produce as possible and plate up dishes that take them out of their comfort zone a little bit,” he says. “Having started my career at what was then known as Parramatta RSL, I know there is a plethora of talent in club kitchens and Perfect Plate is a fantastic way for chefs to demonstrate their skills and really impress the public.”

Roulston, who commenced her culinary journey at the beloved ‘Bowlo’ in Putney, which she went on to manage for 11 years, emphasised the significant progress made in club cuisine over the past decade.

“There are hatted chefs working in club kitchens and club restaurants that are consistently booked out every weekend. I think people are going to be blown away with the calibre of the dishes that clubs have entered in Perfect Plate this year,” she states.

Recognising that many clubs are integral community pillars, she is also keen to visit areas of the state that are still recovering from years of natural disasters.

“Clubs are the lifeblood of their communities. During floods and bushfires, it’s often the local club stepping up as an evacuation centre and looking after those in need. I’m looking forward to offering my support to those clubs and I’m excited to see what their chefs produce.”

The Your Local Club Perfect Plate Awards are now in their third year, and in 2022, a tofu dish claimed the top spot in the state-wide large club category, challenging traditional notions of a typical club meal.

To learn more about the Perfect Plate Awards, including details about participating eateries and competition dishes, visit the official website at perfectplate.com.au


ClubsNSW, Courtney Roulston, Matt Moran, Perfect Plate Awards

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