Kitchen Challenge at Bendigo Senior Secondary College: More than a cooking class!

The BSSC Kitchen Challenge is underway and students are definitely up to the task.
The Bendigo Advertiser recently featured the program and the stars of the program, the students in an article that discusses how The Kitchen Challenge program is more than learning to cook.


BSSC Kitchen Challenge participant Jess and Chef Rob Rees MBE DL.


Bendigo Advertiser excerpt:

“It might look like an episode of MasterChef, but these students are in it for more than an opportunity to bone up on their cooking skills.

The BSSC Kitchen Challenge is a personal development program, first and foremost.

Chef Rob Rees said each of the 11 participants came from different backgrounds.

Some were in Year 11, others in Year 12. A number of the participants are from NETschool Bendigo, which re-engaged young people who have left or are at risk of leaving mainstream schooling.

While some of the participants might have studied hospitality before, others have not.

“Their skills base is really good,” he said.

So good, in fact, that he had to scrap the content he had planned for weeks four and five and start afresh”




Do you inspire healthy eating ? – Please show your support and become a Nutrition Australia member for 2017


Anyone with a commitment to inspiring healthy eating can show their support by becoming a member of Nutrition Australia.

Join Nutrition Australia today to be part of a reputable organisation that provides credible information to the community about food, nutrition and health.
As a member of Nutrition Australia you will:

In most instances, your Nutrition Australia membership is tax deductible if it’s relevant to your profession
Student / Concession membership

Concession membership is available to full time students and pensioners. Please note that concession identification must be provided by those wishing to become a concession member.


South Melbourne Night Market and Neff Market Kitchen

Big love and thanks to everyone who attended Robs Masterclass at the Night Market on Feb 9th and also the Valentines Masterclass on 11th Feb in the Neff Market Kitchen at South Melbourne Market.

The Night market guests got to try veal meatballs with pine nuts and fines herbes all wrapped up in lettuce and lightly steamed. These where then topped with a fresh and zingy sauce vierge from olive oil, herbs, lemon and fresh tomato.

Valentines fans got Jon Dory with caper nut butter, rump of Lamb with Gremolata, Cherry and Amaretto Clafoutis and a pan fried peppered fruit salad with coriander tuille buiscuits.

Thank you to everyone who came and had fun and laughter.

Rob says ” I love this market. Its one of teh most amazing places in Melbourne for showcasing the quality of Australian produce – full of taste, seasonality and great value”

Keep an eye out for next date later in the Autumn of 2017


Kitchen Challenge with Bendigo is underway

Delighted to update people on the first Kitchen Challenge has now started in Australia with Bendigo Secondary College.

The group joined Rob and team last week (7th Feb) to start the project producing some great breads, their own lunch and gaining an insight into what the next 8 weeks will possibly hold for them.

They will learn about food from farm to fork and gain and learn huge amounts about themselves so as to be able to unlock the potential to achieve their aspirations.

We already have a number of partners on board including Inglewood Beef, Free to Fish and the amazing Bendelta will be offering mentorship opportunities for the participants.

Rob says ” I’m really excited about this group already and the potential of what they can achieve”.

We believe at Kitchen Challenge HQ that we can truly motivate and inspire people to think differently about themselves whatever their background via the challenges that are tested during this 8 week course. With added time for individuals to reflect, with a strong team and individual engagement and by being positive we can see health and well being improve dramatically.

Do visit to see more about the work.





Christmas Stollen Recipe

Have a go at making a Christmas Stollen this year – here is a recipe that I use and love. Enjoy and Merry Christmas



Recipe taken from St Michael, Cooking for Christmas




25g fresh yeast

2tsb warm water

75g caster sugar

Pinch of salt

6tbs warm milk

2 tbs rum

Few drops of almond essence

400g strong plain flour

1 egg beaten

150g unsalted butter, softened

50g raisins

50g glace cherries, chopped, washed

50g currants

25g angelica, chopped

50g cut mixed peal

40g flaked almonds

Sifted icing sugar




  1. Blend the yeast in the water. If using dried yeast, add 1 teaspoon of the sugar and leave in a warm place until frothy. Dissolve 50g sugar and the salt in the milk. Add the rum, essence and yeast liquid.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl, making a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, egg, 75g softened butter cut into small pieces, and the fruits and nuts. Mix to a soft dough and knead for 10 minutes by hand, or 4-5 minutes in a large electric mixer fitted with a dough look.
  3. Replace the dough in the bowl, cover with oiled polythene or a damp cloth and put to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – about 2 hours.
  4. Knock back the dough and knead until smooth, then roll out to a rectangle about 30x20cm (12×8 inches).
  5. Melt the remaining butter and brush liberally over the dough; then sprinkle with the remaining caster sugar. Fold one long side over just beyond the centre and then the other long side to overlap the first piece well. Press lightly together and slightly taper the ends.
  6. Place on a greased baking sheet, brush with melted butter and leave in a warm place until almost doubled in size.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until well risen and browned. Cool on a wire tray. Before serving dredge heavily with sifted icing sugar and serve cut into fairly thin slices.


Debs – an amazing lady and case study Kitchen Challenge

This is Debs debs

A few years ago she did Kitchen Challenge She shone. She changed her life herself. Kitchen Challenge nudged, guided and helped her to work a few things out for herself.

She very kindly has this open message for your all. Thank you Debs for sharing so openly:

Hi to everyone that is thinking about doing the Kitchen challenge or who are already doing it. My name is Debra, but everyone calls me Debs, I would like to tell you what Kitchen Challenge did for me. First I will tell you a little bit about my past.

My childhood was ok, but in my teenage years a lot of bad things happened to me, one was being bullied. I didn’t get the help that I needed and I carried these traumas around with me. I started to drink as it gave me confidence, so I thought at the time. The drinking gradually got worse as time went by. I went through a rocky marriage and two really bad relationships, the only good thing that came out of all that were my 3 children.

My drinking escalated in my late 30’s, I then started to take drugs. To cut a very long story short, I ended up losing everything and became homeless living on the streets. After a year and a half living rough, I decided to seek help, ended up in and out of detox 4 times, finally I hit my rock bottom and managed to get into Rehab and there I received the right help which I was longing for.

I decided not to go back to London and decided to stay in Cheltenham and concentrate on getting back on feet and to rebuild the relationships I had lost with my children. Before all of this happened to me, I worked in the catering business and always wanted to do an NVQ in catering.

After rehab I went into a dry house, were there are rules in place, I needed this as I had to get a structure in place for me to move forward. Whilst in the dry house, my project worker told about the Kitchen Challenge and would I be interested in going on the course as she knew how desperate I was to get back into catering. I jumped at the chance, the course was amazing, built up my confidence, help me communicate with others and work as a team, I found out I had skills which I didn’t know I had, really gave me that boost I needed. The course really changed my outlook on life for the better and I’ve never looked back, I can’t thank Rob Rees enough for this opportunity. I went on and did level 3 in professional cookery and worked full time at the Star Bistro. I also had a couple of friends on the same course who choice different careers paths and are doing extremely well, this course benefits everyone, whether you want to be a mechanic or work in a shop.

I wish everyone the best of luck for the future

Debs x


Kitchen Challenge – wins UK Award and new site

Big congratulations to UK colleagues at The Wiggly Worm Charity that Rob founded and is a proud Ambassador for who last week won the award for Best Marketing at the Gloucestershire Business Awards.

It was for the Channel 4 TV Program and work with Kitchen Challenge that helped secure the award fending of some fantastic Gloucestershire, UK talent.

Kitchen Challenge adds best marketing award to most innovative product award it picked up when it was first developed from the then alliance of Gloucestershire Not for Profits.

It was great timing as here in Australia Kitchen Challenge has secured its first commissions and also its own website:

Kitchen Challenge Australia

The site has lots of information and evidence on how it works.

With a 10% first adopters offer available until 31st October 2016 – its worth looking and booking.

Well done Team Wiggly and great that Kitchen Challenge goes global.


National Nutrition Week 2016

From 16th to 22nd October 2017 it is National Nutrition Week organised by the amazing Nutrition Australia. Id encourage you to get involved  across the whole of Australia and see what can be done to help more people eat more Vegetables.



Here is the information from Nutrition Australia web page National Nutrition Week – Try for 5

We all know we should eat 5 serves of veg a day…
But did you know the average person only eats half that?

Take the pledge to eat more veg

Join the Try For 5 Challenge and see if you can eat 5 serves of vegetables every day during National Nutrition Week!

We’ll support you with daily emails containing delicious recipes, clever ideas and inspiring new ways to add veg to your day