IT’S the highlight of the Forest Reefs calendar and Sunday’s annual cook-off was no exception.
Eighteen cooks brought their camp ovens to Forest Reefs Tavern from 10am to start their dishes, ready to serve and be judged by 3pm.
An estimated 400 people attended to eat the creations, purchasing a bowl for $5, with proceeds going to children’s charity Little Wings.
Together with $300 raised from 100 club competitions during the evening, the event is expected to raise more than $2000.
Tim Steell took out the competition with corn bread and a jambalaya, a dish originating in Louisiana, usually consisting of cajun-flavoured sausages and vegetables.
Mr Steell, who has entered the competition for the past eight years, said he chose the dish because of his love of smoked meat.
“I just threw it all together – it’s kind of like a stew, it’s fairly thick and hearty,” he said.
He won $200, plus a $100 produce voucher.
Jenny MacKinney made a steak and mushroom casserole, mashed potato and braised Brussels sprouts.
An avid camper and regular entrant, she said the challenge with camp oven cooking was temperature control.
“You’ve got to keep it at a decent heat, but if it’s too hot you’ll burn your food,” she said.
Ms MacKinney said she enjoyed seeing what other entrants attempted.
“One guy did a chocolate self-saucing pudding,” she said.
“I ended up with a scraping of it because the kids were into it.”
Farmer Wayne Hooper brought his own lamb to the cook-off, making a curry.
“It was pretty easy and people came back for a second serving,” he said.
Dan Miller cooked the People’s Choice.
Tavern owner John Clemens, who cooked beef stroganoff for the occasion, said it was the biggest crowd yet and partner Monica Donnelly said it was a wonderful feeling to help a charity.
“Every two years, we change to a different charity, we like to spread the love,” she said.