Culinary greatness across New South Wales was celebrated as the winners of the 2023 Your Local Club Perfect Plate Awards were revealed at a gala dinner on Tuesday.
Members and patrons were invited and encouraged to taste as many competition dishes at as many NSW clubs as possible, allowed one vote per dish, scored out of five.
A total of 174 eateries from 146 clubs across the state put up entries for votes, to be cast between 30 May and 9 July 2023.
An estimated 80,000 Perfect Plate dishes were purchased, further spurred by competition ambassadors and celebrity chefs Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston, who visited nearly 50 participating venues to meet chefs and taste creations.
Moran began his career in a western Sydney club and says he was “so impressed” with the quality of the Perfect Plate dishes.
“I tried everything from a delicious duck pie with a mushroom ragout to an incredible beef brisket that had been slow cooked for 16 hours and served with locally sourced roasted veggies.
“It was fantastic to see so many passionate — and in many cases very young — chefs honing their craft in their local club and expressing themselves through their cooking.”
Roulston began her career at Putney bowlo, and notes she was pleasantly surprised by her culinary tour and how many menus included seafood and vegetarian options.
“Club food has come such a long way in the last decade.
“They still serve up traditional Sunday roasts and the like, but they offer so much more now, from hand-made pastas and dumplings to fresh, locally caught seafood that’s perfectly grilled.”
The public’s votes have now been counted, and the three major statewide winners and 13 regional winners were announced at the Perfect Plate Awards Night, held at Norths Cammeray on 1 August.
Taking the crown in the Large Club category was Bankstown Sports Club, with its Land & Sea – a combination of crispy pork belly, grilled lobster tail, corn salsa, a broccolini lollipop, red coral tuile and lobster sauce.
The Medium Club category went to Kiama Leagues for a hearty Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Cauliflower Puree.
For the Small Club category the gong was taken home by Towradgi Park Bowls & Recreation Club, offering a “melt-in-your-mouth” Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs.
Completing its third year, ClubsNSW’s newly-appointed CEO Rebecca Riant says Perfect Plate is an opportunity to “shine the spotlight“ on dining in clubs, and the industry’s dedicated chefs, but also suggests everyone involved – from the kitchen staff to the marketing teams – should be proud of their efforts.
“I’d also like to thank our ambassadors Matt and Courtney for doing such a fantastic job promoting the competition, as well as everyone who showed their support for their local club by voting for a Perfect Plate dish.”
Diners could win a $100 dining voucher, with one given away each day of the competition, while the two most prolific voters on Perfect Plate dishes will each win a ‘foodie getaway’ for two valued at over $3,000. Winners are to be announced later this month.
For more about on the Awards, visit ‘Your Local Club Perfect Plate’.