The Ingredient Challenge

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The Ingredient Challenge

January 19 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

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Better your food business ideas, work with amazing mentors, farmers, producers & suppliers and be in the running to win over $16k in awards.

Join The Ingredient Challenge and start growing your food business with passion, small local farmers and Wandering Cooks as your new best friends.

If you’ve got a menu or a recipe you’re looking to grow and enhance, the Ingredient Challenge is for you. You’ll get teachings and support from our carefully chosen mentors. They each come with mountains of food business experience, and making sourcing from local farmers a priority:
-Naomi Zavackas (The Jam Pantry),
-Phil Marchant (Sourced Grocer + Gauge)
-Geoff Abel (Flock Eatery)

Here’s how it works:
Sun 19 Jan – Farm Tour Day
Think big with us as we tour around some local farms, and talk through the nitty gritty with some mighty local produce suppliers. This day will be about the big picture, the complexities of our local food system, and the mindset you’ll need to approach sourcing from our ever shifting locally-sourced Ingredient List.

What to expect: a little overwhelm, a lot of brainstorming, and some business-changing conversations.

Mon 20 Jan – Workshop #1: BRAINSTORM
In this workshop, you’ll meet your mentors and begin applying the experiences you’ve had during the Farm Tour. Ideas will circulate, cookbooks will be pawed over, and mentors will be throwing you curveballs. You’ll get intimate with The Ingredient List, and we’ll be show you how to order from it, stay flexible, and work towards your very first tasting event.

What to expect: a developing sense of the skills you’ll need to make the most of an ingredient list that shifts constantly and requires nose-to-tail, & root to seed menus & products. *If at this point in the workshop journey, you decide you aren’t ready to continue, or this isn’t for you, we’ll give you your money back.


After experimenting and testing at home for a week, you’ll be returning for your very first taste test. You’ll be bringing one or more of your menu items to show what you’re capable of (so make sure it isn’t an item that requires last minute cooking – you’ll be plating up without a kitchen). We and your mentors will be tasting your food, exploring its presentation, and working to understand your goals.

What to expect: If the team thinks you’re ready, you’ll join in on Workshop #3. But you might not be, in which case, you’ll be given plenty of help establishing what can come next in your learning. Plus, you’ll receive a special (discounted) invite to our next Ingredient Challenge.

Mon 3 Feb – Workshop #3: MISE EN PLACE EVENT
Ready to do it all again? You’ve had incredibly useful feedback from some of the best in the industry, and another week to put new ideas to the test. Bring us the best that you’ve got.

What to expect: Along with tasting your food and working on presentation and balance, this time round we’ll also be focussing on the logistics of our commercial kitchens. Why? because in the next Workshop, you’ll be working live!

Mon 10 Feb – Workshop #4: FULL MENU TASTING & AWARDS NIGHT
Held over one day at Wandering Cooks, our mentors, guest judges and our team will be tasting your menu or products in full. We’ll be assessing your ability to deal with the flow and timing of a commercial kitchen environment, and we’ll see how your food holds up to the pressure.

What to expect: there’s a lot at stake – up to $16k of equipment thanks to SilverChef, $500 cash thanks to Aria Living, and a chance to see your food dreams live through an incubation position at Wandering Cooks, that’s what. Feedback and winners will be announced that evening and everyone and their dog is welcome to come cheer you on.

So what are you waiting for? Take a bold leap into The Ingredient Challenge. Your future food business dreams will thank you for being brave!

* Yes, your ticket to the Wandering Cooks Ingredient Challenge comes with a Money Back Guarantee! If, after Workshop #1: Brainstorm, which is two days into our time together, you decide The Challenge is no longer for you, we will give you your money back, no questions asked.


The Ingredient Challenge


January 19
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
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