Charcuterie Excellence Awards Judges

Our impressive line-up of judges include fleischmeisters, award-winning and celebrity chefs, artisan smallgoods makers and industry legends. The Judges have been selected for their expertise and are the cornerstone of what makes the Australian Charcuterie Excellence Awards the premier awards for the Australian smallgoods industry.

Head of Judges

Franz Knoll has 50 years’ experience as a smallgoods maker, founding Barossa Fine Foods 31 years ago with his wife..

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Franz Knoll has 50 years’ experience as a smallgoods maker, founding Barossa Fine Foods 31 years ago with his wife Barbara, a family business respected as industry leaders, built on 4 generations.

Franz completed his apprenticeship with his father at Bavaria Smallgoods, with experience in Germany, across SA, NT, & NSW at a variety of meat and smallgoods establishments.

Franz has an unwavering commitment to excellence has been recognised with state and national awards, such as SA Food Industry Leaders Bickford’s Award 2012, Honorary Mater Butcher Award 2016, Telstra SA Medium Business Award 2016 and Sausage King Hall of Fame 2017, also nationally recognised product awards across all categories.

He is currently industry Chairperson of the National Smallgoods Council and National Meat Industry Training Advisory Council. 

Franz’s role is to assist and support the judges with technical and category criteria administration. 

Thomas Beuke
Renowned Smallgoods Judge

Smallgoods Manufacturer

Thomas Beuke is a third-generation smallgoods manufacturer who has won many accolades with his products..

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Thomas Beuke is a third-generation smallgoods manufacturer who has won many accolades with his products on a national and international level. His love for good food enticed him to complete a chef’s apprenticeship before returning to the meat industry. 

Using modern technology, local produce, and European family recipes, Thomas creates unique quality smallgoods products including hams, bacon and smoked meats, smoked and dried sausages, pâtés, terrines, baked meats and cold cuts. He has also developed a range of Tasmanian game products. His wallaby creations won two gold medals at an international competition in Germany. 

Thomas has also worked as a teacher for TAFE, educating young people in the principles of HACCP, Food Safety and a variety of cookery subjects. His knowledge expands from food sourcing, production/manufacturing, workflow planning, improving production techniques, and research and development of food products. 

Thomas’ expertise is highly sought, being a judge for the Australian Fine Food Awards (Melbourne), the Royal Tasmanian Fine Food Awards, sitting on the Tasmanian Game Meat Council, and consulting to many small businesses. 

Greg Bonnefin
GJB Associates

Chemist

Greg studied Foods Science at Hawkesbury Agricultural College, and after that joined Presto Smallgoods..

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Greg studied Foods Science at Hawkesbury Agricultural College, and after that joined Presto Smallgoods (1977), part of Petersville at the time, working in the Quality department, and after a year became Chief Chemist, embarking on his career in the processed meat industry.  

During that time, Greg became involved in the Royal Agricultural Society original Ham and Bacon judging competitions and was actively involved in the food regulations related to processed meats, to bring health and food safety into line with expectations.  

Greg’s career spans across ingredient supply businesses to the smallgoods industry, including regulatory, technical and development roles based in Singapore, Europe and Asia.  

During this time Greg actively maintained his involvement in processed meat competitions across the globe, holding judging and panel chair positions. He remains a member of the American Meat Science Association, Institute of Food Technology and the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. His passion for the processed meat industry continues today, working to raise the quality profile of the Australian smallgoods industry. 

Melinda Dimitriades-Catt
Omnivorium Specialty Providores

Providore

Formerly known as CHOP SHOP carnivorium, Melinda is a specialist charcuterie, smallgoods and cheese-making providore.

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Bio coming soon.

Fleischmeister

Ralf is a fleischmeister and runs Oakwood Smallgoods butcher and charcuterie shop at Castlemaine, where he also holds..

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Ralf is a fleischmeister and runs Oakwood Smallgoods butcher and charcuterie shop at Castlemaine, where he also holds workshops for butchers and farmers. Oakwood brings the craft back to smallgoods. Traditional time-honoured techniques and carefully sourced ingredients come together to create high quality artisan smallgoods. 

Now 45 years spent in the business, Ralf saw everything changing into large scale production and the idea was born to go back to the old style. Using only free range ethically sourced pork, beef and lamb the raw meat is cured with attention to detail in wood fired smokehouses or dry curing room. Using traditional methods, Ralf’s passion and driving force is to produce quality products – his mantra is meat, spices and tradition!! 

Ralf was born near Dortmund and, like the men in his family, became a butcher. In 1987 Ralf was awarded the certificate of Fleishmeister, as was his father in 1960. Look out for the original certificate in the Castlemaine shop – his and his father’s are displayed as well as a picture of the old shop in Germany. He is very proud to be 1 of only 6 Fleischmeisters in Australia. 

Alex Herbert
alexherbert.com.au

Chef

As a professional chef, Alex has developed a cooking style informed by the seasons, honed over 30+ years working with..

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Alex grew up surrounded by women – her grandmother, mother and aunts – who loved to cook creatively with ingredients they had to hand. 

As a professional chef, Alex has developed a cooking style informed by the seasons, honed over 30+ years working with and being mentored by some of Australia’s culinary greats: Maggie Beer, Gay Bilson, Janni Kyritsis, David Thompson, Christine Manfield, Martin Boetz, to name a few. 

Alex spent years shopping and working at food markets, incorporating seasonal produce into food festivals and events programs, mentoring young chefs and teaching cooking classes centred on seasonal, and running her own produce-driven restaurants including Bird Cow Fish – a hatted Sydney bistro celebrating sustainable and seasonal ingredients in comforting home-cooked style dishes. 

After all these years, she still gets a kick out of cooking with the seasons, with her ever-expanding repertoire of recipes inspired first and foremost by ingredients, with dishes designed to be bundled together to create a seasonal food journey. 

Paul McDonald
Pauly Mac

Chef

Pauly has been in in commercial kitchens for over 25 years, from the burger joint around the corner to Michelin Star..

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Pauly has been in in commercial kitchens for over 25 years, from the burger joint around the corner to Michelin Star restaurants and possibly everything in-between. A commercial cookery teacher to diploma level, restaurant judge and author, he has been running a successful personal chef company for many years. 

Pauly has worked around the country as an industry expert for clients such as Australian Pork, Meat & Livestock Australia, and The Cancer Council. As a chef, he’s worked at both ends of the culinary spectrum, from the office to the pans.

Pauly’s passion for learning has inspired the ’Train the Chef’ Program – a series of career defining opportunities to meet and learn from some of the industry’s most highly-revered chefs, hospitality professionals, scientists, butchers, bakers and nutritionists. 

Chef

Adam Moore is ranked among the world’s top corporate chefs with qualifications in pastry, charcuterie and butchery..

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Adam Moore is ranked among the world’s top corporate chefs with qualifications in pastry, charcuterie and butchery, food styling and food photography. 

With more than 25 years in the industry to his credit, Adam has worked in restaurants, foodservice, retail, food manufacturing, marketing and sales. In the corporate sector, past employers include Mars Australia, George Weston Foods and the multinational Campbell Arnotts. He’s currently executive chef of the Cerebos Culinary Institute, focused on consumer-led recipe development, as well as product development and innovation. 

Adam is a Research Chefs Association Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a judge for Clubs NSW Chefs Table, TAA chef of the year, AHA Chef of the year, Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, Sydney Royal Fine Foods and more. He’s an active member of the Australian Culinary Federation and the Global Research Chefs Association. He has lectured at the University of NSW Kenvale College and is a renowned industry mentor for young chefs. 

Adam is currently working on his first cookbook, centred on his love of pork. 

Andrew Morabito
TAFE NSW

Butchery Teacher

Andrew Morabito started his career as a butcher in 1989, studying through Granville TAFE college.He entered state

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Andrew Morabito started his career as a butcher in 1989, studying through Granville TAFE college. He entered state and national competitions from 1991, which was the beginning of his drive to excel in the meat industry. Andrew had his own successful butcher shop for before moving into teaching at TAFE NSW’s state-of-the-art Granville college and has been teaching there since 2008, pass on the skills and knowledge he has obtained over the last 30 years to the next generation of butchers. 

Andrew specialises in value-added and meal solutions in a meat retail outlet and in smallgoods manufacturing.  

Smallgoods has been a passion of Andrew’s since the start of his career, making smallgoods from scratch in a country butcher shop, from recipes handed down from previous generations, then in his own business following the FSANZ Food Standard Code learning all things smallgoods. Andrew also works on R&D projects with industry and food tech companies on new food trends. 

Melissa Palinkas
Young George

Chef

Melissa Palinkas is head chef and co-owner at one-hatted Young George and executive chef at Ethos Deli + Dining Room..

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Awarded 2019 Chef of the Year by The West Australian Good Food Guide, Melissa Palinkas is head chef and co-owner at one-hatted Young George and executive chef at Ethos Deli + Dining Room, both in Perth. Palinkas shows a particular mastery in house-made charcuterie, among many other talents.

The food produced by Melissa Palinkas has been lavished with praise by reviewers who describe her food as ‘inventive, fun, smart, original and drop-dead gorgeous’.

Melissa prides herself on running a sustainable kitchen at her restaurants. Her ‘nose to tail’ or ‘root to shoot’ approach to cooking means that nothing is wasted – the trimmings of vegetables and meats are used in stock, leftover vegetables are fermented or used for preserves and spent fruit rinds are converted to cocktail bases and house made cordials.

Melissa’s first kitchen job was at the Brass Monkey in Northbridge. She worked overseas in London and Dublin then took on the head chef role at The Cabin in Mt Hawthorn for four years before setting up her first restaurant, Young George, with wife Susan.

Melissa was honoured to receive her first Hat at the 2020 Good Food Guide Awards and to be named the 2019 West Australian Good Food Guide Chef of the Year.

At the end of 2020 Melissa and wife Susan opened Ethos deli and dining room. A sustainable kitchen with an emphasis on no waste, where Melissa’s hand made nose to tail charcuterie takes center stage.

 

Horst Schurger
CBS Foodtech

Fleischmeister

Fleischmeister Horst Schurger holds a Masters degree in Butchering-Slaughtering and Smallgoods and is an Executive..

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Fleischmeister Horst Schurger holds a Masters degree in Butchering-Slaughtering and Smallgoods and is an Executive Director of CBS Foodtech. Horst started his butcher apprenticeship in 1958 at his father’s butcher shop and brings outstanding expertise from an impressive career across the industry, working in Switzerland, Germany and Australia. 

Horst has taught smallgoods courses at East Sydney Technical College, TAFE NSW Granville and Ryde Colleges, and Hawkesbury College in Richmond. 

CBS Foodtech has been supplying machinery, equipment and ingredients to the food industry since 1977 and has its own 80 sqm test-production kitchen available for our customers. 

Horst has been a judge for Ham and Bacon for Australian Pork, and for the Royal Agriculture Society in Melbourne. 

Rodney Van Oirschot
Four Leaves Food Store

Chef

Rodney is the owner of Four Leaves Food Store, a cafe, delicatessen, bakery, wine shop and provedore all-in-one..

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Rodney is the owner of Four Leaves Food Store, a cafe, delicatessen, bakery, wine shop and provedore all-in-one. Four Leaves has grown from being one of the best cafe restaurants in Melbourne’s northern suburbs to being a purveyor of fine foods.

Rodney has led the team at Four Leaves since 2016, serving the very best of chef-prepared seasonal food to the local community.

Four Leaves Food Store includes a fully stocked delicatessen with cured meats and marinated vegetables, a fresh bakery and an abundant wine shop, and the team produce a wide range of home-cooked quality meals.

From working with some of the finest chefs in New York, Rodney has become a well-known personality in his community.

Royston Bennett
AMIST Super

National Client Services Manager

Royston has been involved with the meat industry for more than 15 years and has judged several industry awards..

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Royston has been involved with the meat industry for more than 15 years and has judged several industry awards over the years, including AMIC’s Sausage King competition and Meatstock’s Butcher Wars in Sydney and Melbourne. 

Royston is the National Client Services Manager at AMIST Super.