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Australian chefs cook for some of the world's best foodies

Currently, Melbourne is celebrating being chosen as the host for next year's World's 50 Best Restaurants awards, and now four of Australia's best chefs have cooked for a discerning panel of experts.

Tourism Australia flew the top culinary wonders from the country to New York in order to provide a taste of what the world's finest chefs and food and beverage media can expect when they come to the awards in 2017.

It was Ben Shewry, Dan Hunter, Neil Perry and Peter Gilmore who set about creating the ultimate Australian BBQ brunch in the amazing setting on the rooftop of the NoMad Hotel in America's Big Apple.

The evening's attendees was an impressive cross-section of some of the top names in foodie culture, including Dan Barber from Bluehill at Stone Barns and Ashley Palmer Watts, who is the chef at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

Mr Shewry, who is from Melbourne's own Attica restaurant, served his version of the Australian classic avocado - colloquially known as smashed avo - on toast along with Paroo Kangaroo, which he served on the bone. On the side of this he added a dish of emu served in its egg.

Chef and owner of Victoria's Brae, Dan Hunter, served ever-popular small bites, which included raw pea and lemon aspen tart, nasturtium with finger lime and eggplant and salt grass lamb, which was washed with sweet onion juice.

The aim of the chefs was to create dishes with ingredients that people might expect from Australia, but to present them in a new and different way.

When it came to the actual barbecue, it was Neil Perry from the Rockpool Group who took charge by grilling a vast array of Australian seafood, including tiger prawns from Skull Island and spanner crab from Fraser Isle.

Using these particular types of seafood also went a long way towards promoting the aquatic range of Australia, which has been a large focus of Tourism Australia's campaigns to attract visitors to the country since last year.

Other delicacies from Australian waters included sea urchin in a dish of uni rice, fish maw and umami broth - which is a savoury flavour loaned from Japanese cuisine.

Wine Australia was on hand to match beverages to all of the food prepared by the chefs and highlights included Jansz Premium Cuvee from Tasmania, Pewsey Vale Riesling from Clare Valley and Moorooduc Estate Pinot Noir, which hails from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Lisa Ronson, Tourism Australia's chief marketing officer, said that the evening was a brilliant start to boosting Melbourne's credentials as host of the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards next year.

She added: "Melbourne will do a wonderful job of hosting the awards, but we'll also be making sure we give this influential group of international chefs and media first-hand experience of the people, produce and places, which make Australia's food and wine experiences truly world-class."

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