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Highly-regarded chefs prepare for classy Food Fight


The oven mitts are off.

Four chefs will go head-to-head in the 2023 Food Fight at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley on Tuesday 27 June.

Hosted by the not-for-profit Hunter Culinary Association (HCA), the highly-anticipated event features two cooking whizzes from outside the region taking on two top names from the Hunter.

They’ll provide their 350-strong dining audience with not only an incredible day of food and wine, but entertainment plus, as they are set the task of deciding which chef cooked which dish… and who did it best.

In the blue corner, hailing from Sydney’s esteemed gastronomy scene, are Jason Dean (head chef O Bar & Dining) and Sarah Knights (former head chef Automata).

In the red corner, representing the Hunter region, will be Jake Deluca (head chef at The Flotilla in Newcastle) and Richmond Rodrigues (head chef at Muse Kitchen in Pokolbin), both bearing Sydney Morning Herald chefs’ hats.

“We’re certainly looking forward to the 2023 Food Fight,” Hunter Culinary Association chairman Gus Maher said.

“Having sold out the event to 350 people in 2022, we’re again expecting a really strong response when tickets go on sale this week.

“It’s a super extravaganza for our region and the hospitality industry at large, bringing camaraderie and talent together in a way that makes us as an association so proud of what we do to promote and nurture young hospitality industry talent through our extensive suite of scholarships.”

The day’s entertainment kicks off at 11am and includes canapés prepared by some of the industry’s outstanding young apprentices on arrival, a superb four-course meal prepared by the four “fighting” chefs, as well as premium Hunter Valley wines and beer.

To secure your tickets, go to

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