Good chefs are supposed to push boundaries, but some may think Alyssia Constable has gone too far with her latest creation – an award-winning Beef Jerky Cheesecake that’s caused a stir in Rockhampton ahead of the Beef Australia 2018 expo.
While many locals don’t know what to make of the dish, Beef Australia culinary judges believe the mind-bending dessert is delicious, giving it a Highly Commended prize at the Central Queensland Awards of Excellence.
“We’ve given it a go and it’s worked out for us – it’s a complete fluke,” said a humble Alyssia, head chef at the Best Western Plus The Stirling Rockhampton.
Alyssia thrives on culinary experimentation and loves connecting with people through the food she prepares for diners at the Stirling’s Six and Co restaurant.
“I’m one of the lucky ones who come to work every day and enjoy what they do. I love the pressure and sense of achievement.”
“It was a lifelong goal of mine and at times I thought I was never going to get there,” says Alyssia, who started her cooking career as a mature age apprentice in her late 20s.
Her quiet nature belies a competitive spirit so when told Beef Australia wanted something different, she went out of her way to give them exactly that.
Her inspiration for the dish came from a US casino but the recipe is all hers.
Alyssia and her team make their own jerky, which is dehydrated after the beef strips are marinated in maple syrup and liquid smoke.
Tiny shreds of the jerky are incorporated in all elements of the dish, from the Oreo crumb through to the filling.
Just in case people forget what they’ve ordered, the dish comes garnished with a generous slice of prime beef jerky.
Manager at the Best Western Stirling, Judy McDermott, loves the dish and says it’s selling well.
“The first mouthful for anyone is a bit of mind manipulation but by the third mouthful the taste buds take over,” Judy says.
“People are intrigued when they see it on the menu but often reluctant to order for themselves, so we often serve to a group to try.”
However, once they’ve crossed the line there’s no going back. “We have a number of guests who stay with us regularly and they buy one each time they return,” says Judy.