IN THE MEDIA: THE Newcastle Herald

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Margan head chef Thomas Boyd's milk parfait with macadamia, honey and thyme won the popular vote at Hunter Culinary Association's annual Food Fight on Monday. 

His cleverly balanced dessert was a hit with the event's 320 guests, giving him the edge over worthy competitors Eilish Maloney (formerly Saint Peter Paddington), Troy Crisante (Quay Restaurant) and George Mirosevich (Restaurant Mason).

In what is essentially a four-course blind tasting judged by the diners themselves, Malone created the first course: dry-aged snapper with last season's birch fermented tomatoes and preserved lemon. Crisante's second course was a flavour-packed nduja with peas and black olive, and the third course by Mirosevich was a roast and braised lamb with garlic and Jerusalem artichoke.

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Gus Maher