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Daniel Townsend from Cliftons wins the APAC IACC Copper Skillet Competition

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Posted on February 29, 2024

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Enjoy award-winning cuisine at Cliftons

As part of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) 2024 Asia Pacific Study Tour, Cliftons recently hosted the regional round of the Copper Skillet Competition. This prestigious competition recognises the vital role that food service plays in conference venues and aims to showcase the skills of venue chefs from around the world.


We’re delighted to announce that this year’s APAC Copper Skillet Chef of the Year is Cliftons’ very own Daniel Townsend from our Melbourne team. Daniel and his fellow competitors were required to create a dish from a mystery basket of ingredients, with the dish to include two proteins, plus items from a set pantry list. Daniel’s winning dish was ‘pan fried rockling with duck fat and a bay leaf crust, accompanied by charred corn and chive salsa.’

Daniel Townsend holding a copper skillet  merged with an image of a  guest chef judging his winning dish

Daniel's Story

Daniel joined the Cliftons team 12 months ago, bringing his experience both in restaurants and larger event catering. As part of his role, Daniel manages food and beverage across our Melbourne venues, catering for up to 600 people on any given day. He also recently led the team to provide off-site dining for The Police Association of Victoria at the opening of their new venue.


Daniel’s favourite cuisine to cook is modern Australian, embracing the abundance of produce available on our doorstep. He especially enjoys cooking the incredible seafood that is available, and when he’s not in a kitchen, can usually be found enjoying a seafood brunch at one of Melbourne’s beachfront restaurants. Daniel also has a passion for cheese and is currently studying with the Academy of Cheese to deepen his knowledge of cheese and cheesemaking.

Prosecco being poured, alongside a steak and salad dish

Food and beverage excellence is at the heart of Cliftons

Providing an exceptional dining experience is a key element of what sets Cliftons apart as a venue. We believe catering is about more than just nourishment, and work with our in-house team of talented chefs, like Daniel, to create menus that not just satisfy but inspire.


Our team can provide catering throughout the day, with options from breakfast to dinner, and everything in between. Our menus can be tailored to match your event theming, and it goes without saying that all dietary requirements can be seamlessly accommodated. As well as buffet lunches for training days and conferences, we can also provide canapes for networking events as well as celebratory dishes for awards evenings, plus private dining and sit-down banquets.


Finally, we also have an award-winning range of drinks, with an expert team of wine and beer professionals on-hand to ensure drinks choices are perfectly matched and add to the dining experience. It’s all part of our commitment to ensuring your event is remarkable.

Daniel’s Copper Skillet story doesn’t end here

After his win in the APAC Copper Skillet Competition, Daniel now progresses to the global final, which will be held in New Jersey in April. We wish Daniel all the best for the competition and look forward to hearing what dish he makes from a new set of mystery ingredients to create with. We know it will be delicious and memorable.

Daniel Townsend holding a copper skillet against a Melbourne CBD backdrop

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