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The New Equation Challenge

You could win a VIP dining experience for you and five friends, right in your home with celebrity chef Shane Delia!

Welcome to The New Equation Challenge!

What is The New Equation?

It’s how PwC works together and with its clients to build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. It comes to life when a passionate community of solvers unite in unexpected ways to think up fresh solutions to the most complex challenges. 

So, to launch The New Equation, we’ve cooked up a fun and delicious challenge that will get you to apply your own fresh thinking in the kitchen!

The challenge

We want to see how you combine basic ingredients with something unexpected to deliver a fantastic and in this case delicious result. So grab the eggs, flour, oil and salt out of your pantry and add whatever you feel like to create something unique. Make it simple, make it complex, make it weird and wonderful, a classic from your culture or something totally original...make it your way! It's all about bringing your vision to life.

The prize

Shane Delia (chef, television presenter and founder of Providoor) will come to your place for an exclusive VIP dining experience. That’s right, Shane will do all the cooking for you and five of your friends or family! 

The inspiration

Have a look at Shane’s take on the challenge below for some delicious inspiration.

Ricotta gnocchi with scallop, asparagus and pine nut
Date, orange and olive oil cake with spiced syrup

Ricotta gnocchi with scallop, asparagus and pine nut

  • 425g ricotta
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 275g plain flour 
  • 150g parmesan 
  • 10g salt 
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Prep the water: Bring a large stockpot of generously salted water to the boil over high heat.
  2. Drain the ricotta: While the water is heating, place 3-4 paper towels on a large plate and spread over the ricotta in an even layer.  Place another layer of paper towels over the ricotta. Press down gently to allow the excess moisture to be absorbed – soak up as much excess liquid as possible. Transfer the ricotta to a large mixing bowl. (If it sticks to the paper towels, use a rubber spatula to scrape it off). 
  3. Mix the dough ingredients: Add the egg yolks to the ricotta, stirring briefly to combine.  
  4. Add in the flour, parmesan, salt and pepper, and stir until evenly combined. Avoid over-mixing. The dough will be a bit moist and maybe a bit sticky, but it should be holding together well.  If it feels too wet, add in another few tablespoons of flour.
  5. Roll out and cut the dough into small squares to make your gnocchi.  
  6.  Use flour to lightly dust the gnocchi to prevent it from sticking together.
  7. Boil the gnocchi: Carefully transfer the gnocchi to the boiling water to cook. Drain after 30 seconds or when the gnocchi floats to the surface. Add a little olive oil and toss. Set aside until required.

  • olive oil 
  • 1 bunch green asparagus, quartered 
  • 1 large shallot, finely sliced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 8 scallops, quartered 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted 
  • 50g butter 
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted 
  • 1/2 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • salt and pepper, to taste 

  1. Place a large pan on high heat and drizzle with olive oil. 
  2. Once hot, add the gnocchi lightly fry until golden on both sides.
  3. Add the asparagus, shallot and garlic. Sauté, constantly tossing, until asparagus begins to soften. 
  4. Add the scallop and fennel seeds, and toss for 1 minute or until scallop is browned.
  5. Add the butter and cook until it foams.
  6. Add the pine nuts, spring onion and lemon zest, and toss.
  7. Remove from the heat. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Date, orange and olive oil cake with spiced syrup

  • 50g panko breadcrumbs
  • 125g plain flour
  • 220g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tsp ras el hanout*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ice-cream, to serve (we recommend salted white chocolate flavour)
Spiced syrup
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 80ml orange juice
  • 55g sugar 
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise

  1. Place the breadcrumbs, flour, sugar, ras el hanout and baking powder in a large bowl and mix until combined. 
  2. Place the eggs, olive oil, lemon zest and orange zest in a small bowl and stir to combine. Fold the egg mixture into the breadcrumb mixture until just combined. 
  3. Line a 21cm x 11cm loaf tin with baking paper and pour in the mixture. Place the mixture in a cold oven and bake at 170°C (150°C fan-forced) for 45 minutes or until the cake golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. 
  4. To make the spiced syrup, place the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 2 few minutes. Remove from the heat. 
  5. Remove the cake from the oven and pierce all over with a wooden skewer. Drizzle over the syrup and leave for a few minutes for the cake to absorb.
  6. Remove the ice-cream from the freezer and allow to soften slightly. To serve, cut the cake into slices and serve warm or cold with the ice-cream. 

Ras el hanout is a North African spice mix that comprises of a variety of spices, such a cardamom and cumin. It is available at specialty Middle Eastern grocery stores and selected supermarkets, as well as online.

Now over to you! Give it a go, do your best and make something truly wonderful.

How to participate

  1. Whip up your unique dish. 
  2. Take a photo of your creation on top of our ad in the Australian Financial Review, or head to our Instagram to use our filter (click the 3 stars above the grid).
  3. Post to your Instagram Stories or in the feed, tagging @pwc_au and add the hashtag #TheNewEquationChallenge (make sure your profile is set to public!).

Shane will select the winners based on creativity and presentation. We can’t wait to see what this vast and vibrant community of solvers serves up… 

Happy cooking! Entries close Monday 13 December 2021 at 17:00 AEDST

TNE cooking challenge instructions

Please read the Terms and Conditions in relation to your participation in the competition.