Bunbury chef serves best steak sandwich

Kristin MacfarlaneSouth Western Times

BEN Elliott cooks an award-winning steak sandwich - but that’s not enough for the chef who is also eyeing up more titles to add to his collection.

The head chef at The Bayview Bar has created the 2017 Australian Hotels Association (WA) Best Country WA Steak Sandwich after beating three other chefs from country pubs around West Australia including Bouvard Tavern, Cervantes Bar and Bistro and Southerly’s Tavern in a cook-off at Crown Perth on Tuesday afternoon.

The competition calls for nominations before members of the public vote for their favourites to make up the top four. The chefs then take part in a cook off in front of judges who select the winner based on qualities including tenderness of the meat, composition and presentation, originality, creativity, sauces, flavour and value for money.

AHA (WA) chief executive officer Bradley Woods said Mr Elliott’s steak sandwich was outstanding and cooked to “perfection”.

"Elliott produced an exceptional steak sandwich under tough pressure and he and his colleagues are well deserving of this title,” Mr Woods said.

Mr Elliott said there was a lot that went into creating the State’s best regional steak sandwich, with the team spending a lot of time sourcing the best products from around the South West.

The steak sandwich itself is made with a Turkish bread created specifically for The Bayview Bar, includes a Pitch Black angus 150g scotch fillet steak topped with a butter made from a Margaret River red wine and shallotts, vintage cheese, home-made tomato chutney and aioli. That is then topped off with a secret seasoning on a serving of chips and a slaw garnish.

“We spent a long time selecting the bread ... it’s specifically been designed for us,” Mr Elliott said.

“Top that off with the view and a pint of beer, it’s a winning combo.”

While Mr Elliott is happy with his win, he wants to back it up with the same title next year so he can have two belts hanging over both shoulders, much like the man whose image hangs in his kitchen - former two-division UFC champion Colin McGregor.

Much like McGregor, who is moving into boxing to fight champ Floyd Mayweather, Mr Elliott too wants to cross over and prove he can deliver in more than one category of his industry.

“I’m going for best burger, best pizza, best fish and chips, ribs, Jack and Coke ribs ... I want to be the best in WA,” he said.

Mr Elliott had been cooking at The Bayview Bar for about five months, having previously worked in professional kitchens in Wales, Cornwall and Australia. His inspiration comes from travel and the different cuisines he has experienced across the world.

The Bayview Bar owner Craig Giacomel said Mr Elliott was the type of chef who never wanted to serve a mediocre meal.

He described Mr Elliott as a chef who was open minded and received critique constructively to ensure he served quality meals, taking pride in his work and the company he was part of.

“He takes it personally if it’s not spot on,” Mr Giacomel said.

This was just one of the reasons he was confident in Mr Elliott’s ability, that customers would be leaving the bar happy with their meals and they would become known for having the best food in the State.

“We’re trying to have the best pub food in WA,” he said.

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