Celebrity chefs Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston will travel NSW in search of the best club food.

ClubsNSW has announced the Your Local Club Perfect Plate Awards are back for the fourth consecutive year.

Award ambassadors and celebrity chefs Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston will be hitting the road again in search of best club meal in NSW. They’ll travel as far west as Broken Hill and as far north as Tweed Heads.

ClubsNSW CEO Rebecca Riant said the Perfect Plate Awards are designed to showcase the incredible quality and diversity of food on offer in NSW clubs.

“We are thrilled to have Matt Moran and Courtney Roulston back as ambassadors for the competition again this year — their names are synonymous with culinary excellence in Australia and they both started their careers in clubs, which is very fitting,” she said.

Moran, who’s career started at Parramatta RSL (now known as Club Parramatta), together with MasterChef alumni Courtney Roulston, who managed Putney Bowling Club for 11 years, will sample as many of the 173 competition dishes as possible. Dishes will range from seared Canadian scallops with green pea and bacon risotto at Dee Why RSL to grilled lamb cutlets in Broken Hill.

The team at Dee Why RSL’s Flame restaurant cooking up their entry dish for judging.

For the 2024 Perfect Plate Awards, a new Best Dessert category has been introduced, which has attracted a sweet selection of entries including Cessnock Leagues Club’s salted caramel and apple pudding, and The Verandah Beecroft’s cinnamon creme brulee with candied orange and almond biscotti.

“The best thing about the competition is you get food that you’re not expecting, particularly in regional areas,” Roulston told Club Management, pointing out one memorable dish she sampled during last year’s competition was a pad thai at the SS&A Club in Albury.

According to Moran, the quality of club food has completely changed over the years.

“For one, it’s no longer out of the freezer. Nowadays with competition the way that it is and with clubs trying to draw in different, younger clientele, the food is more than ten-fold better,” he said.

Roulston agreed that food at club is no longer just an afterthought.

“Food is not just a secondary thing. Food is being used to try get people through the door whereas back in the day is we had to offer,” she said.

Until 16 June, the public will have the chance to visit participating NSW clubs to taste the Perfect Plate dishes on offer, and score them out of five. Votes can be placed by scanning each eatery’s unique QR code or filling out a paper form.

The 13 clubs that receive the highest average score for their dishes based on patron ratings will be crowned the winner of their respective region. There will also be three state-wide winners announced in the small, medium, and large club categories, as well as one state-wide winner in the new Best Dessert category.

While diners can only vote for each Perfect Plate dish once, they are encouraged to taste as many competition dishes at as many NSW clubs as possible to boost their chances of winning a prize. A $100 Eftpos gift card will be given away every day of the competition 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.

Moran’s advice to clubs when creating their dishes for the competition is to just “keep it simple”.

Perfect Plate Award winners will be announced at a special awards night in mid-July.

For the full list entries, click here.

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