Southern Highland News

Perfect Plate venue reins on top for 2022

Executive chef Mauri Villella with La Trattoria at The Fraternity Club's winning dish - Ravioli di Manzo. Photo: Robert Peet, Illawarra Mercury

This is branded content for The Fraternity Club

The Fraternity Club's La Trattoria has again decimated competition to take out the Perfect Plate award for 2022.

The Frat, as it's locally known, is renowned for serving quality, authentic Italian cuisine, alongside consistently exceeding the expectations of members and guests with its generous servings, friendly staff, and warm atmosphere.

We can see why this venue is a must to visit in 2022.

The win means the Frat receives top bragging rights for the second year in a row, taking out the number one position in the NSW medium club category.

The winning dish is a must to try.

Ravioli di Manzo was specially created as the club's entry into the competition.

It features rich porcini mushrooms in a creamy sauce, paired with succulent beef encased in al dente ravioli pasta - hand crafted to perfection.

The winning dish, Ravioli di Manzo, features sauteed porcini mushrooms in a creamy sauce paired with tender beef ravioli, cooked to perfection. Photo: Supplied.

The Perfect Plate competition was conceived by Clubs NSW and is endorsed by ambassadors, celebrity chefs Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge. It involves clubs from all over the state entering a dish, and club goers tasting and voting on their favourite.

Executive chef, Mauri Villella, claims that the win is a victory for the entire Fraternity Club.

"We're a family at our club, so it was a feeling of satisfaction for all of us," said Mauri.

"It was especially satisfying for us in the kitchen, but also the front of house staff too.

"Without the support of our members this win would not have been possible. Our members are so loyal. We are a busy club with a focus on quality food. To see that our members have voted for this dish, and to bring this year's award back home for our club in Wollongong is fantastic."

The Perfect Plate was created to highlight the incredible food available at clubs across the state, emphasising the highly talented chefs that work within the industry, and encouraging patrons to get into their local club to try the variety of food on offer.

"It's very important to showcase the good food available in clubs. I've been in this industry for 33 years and to see where food and clubs have progressed over that time is great. To have a competition like this where the members vote for a dish they like, it shows there's good food to be had in clubs," said Mauri.

The involvement of Manu and Collin in the competition heightened the motivation among clubs to create the most impressive dish their skills allowed. The celebrity chefs visited clubs all throughout the state, to try the competition dishes themselves, and cast their own votes.

"They're great ambassadors for the Perfect Plate. I met them last year, and talked to them about work and family. They can really appreciate and relate to what it takes for us as chefs to do what we do.

"They've been through what we've been through in this industry. So it's great to have that connection with them," said Mauri.

The Fraternity Club has two eateries, La Trattoria and Il Bene. La Trattoria offers authentic Italian cuisine and a vast menu starring pasta, multiple seafood dishes and of course the classic chicken schnitzel. Il Bene serves up more flavours of Italy, with woodfired pizzas and antipasto. The venue really does have something to suit even the most discerning of palettes.

Mauri and his team at La Trattoria have taken out the Perfect Plate award two years straight, and intend to enter the competition again next year. Photo: Robert Peet, Illawarra Mercury

Mauri and the whole Fraternity Club team are excited to enter a new dish into next year's competition and are grateful for the buzz of excitement the award has triggered.

Mauri attributes the award to a heightened morale among colleagues, and a collective push in the team to keep striving for culinary excellence, which can only mean more delicious food to be served to members and guests.

"In the next few months we're going to start talking about next year, and creating dishes, trying them, then tweaking them, until we can say 'that's the one'. When we make a decision, it's made as a group," said Mauri.

Visit the Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow today and enjoy the special dish that has won this coveted award.

This is branded content for The Fraternity Club