By Martin Vedris in Bangkok

BANGKOK, THAILAND: It’s official, Justine Schofield of Australian MasterChef was crowned LG Electronics’ Smart Chef in the LG Life Tastes Good Championships 2009 cooking competition last night. Unlike other competitors, Justine used only the LG SolarDOM.

The brief was simple, prepare two identical plates and use the SolarDOM to show what can be done with this new appliance that is a microwave, grill and convection oven in one and uses halogen light to speed up the cooking process and retail moisture and flavour.

While the competitors from the other 15 countries around the world competed with two people, Justine represented Australia all on her own. In addition, while competitors were given a cooktop, electric wall oven and the SolarDOM, other competitors used the conventional oven as well as the SolarDOM, while Justine focused just on the SolarDOM.

Justine’s menu choice of a seared duck and a tarte tatin was a hit with the expert judges as was her determination while doing it all on her own and they noted she was using just the SolarDOM instead of the oven as well.

Points were awarded for the number of functions of the SolarDOM were correctly used during cooking. Justine scored maximum points from a number of judges across a number of key points categories that included criteria such as Cooking Techniques and Skills, LG Light Wave Oven Utilization, Menu Recipe, Work Plan, Safety & Sanitation, Healthier Preparation, Menu Presentation and Taste, Menu Innovation.

These criteria were judged by a panel of senior LG Executives, the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) and Le Cordon Bleu, and four world class celebrity chefs; Cat Cora (US), Guy Martin (France), Khun Ik (Thailand) and Anna Kim (Korea).

These four chefs also cooked up their own special meals using only the SolarDOM while the competitors were cooking their meals or the judges.

While competitors were given 100 minutes, Justine had the whole meal under control and wanted to time cooking her duck until the closing minutes to make sure it was still warm for the judges to taste. But in all the rush and excitement, she almost ran out of time but just managed to plate up in time with seconds to go, and that was lucky too because the judges deducted 1 point out of the possible 100 for each minute the contestants were late in presenting their plate.