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Masterfoods Culinary Teams Picked For Success

Media Release February 2 2004


Four senior chefs and five junior chefs have been selected to attend the West Australia Oceana Fest in Perth later this year. The senior chefs are looking to defend it's 2003 title 'West Australia Oceana Fest Restaurant of Champions Open Team Challenge' and the junior chefs will compete in individual classes against their Australian peers.

Gary Miller, business manager of the Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team, says a junior team was added this year to encourage young chefs throughout the country to take part and compete for a place in the final five to attend the Australian competition.

"We see this opportunity as one of the many ways in which we can acknowledge the great culinary talent that exists here in New Zealand," he says.

Gary Miller says the team of juniors has been made up of representatives from the regions of the New Zealand Chefs Association and has its endorsement.

"This year is looking to be an exciting, yet challenging one for all the chefs involved. Their skills and knowledge will be put to the test, but I feel we have a huge opportunity here to prove just how great our chefs are," says Gary Miller, business manager of the Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team.

Keith McDonald, Masterfoods National Sales Manager, says Masterfoods prides itself on having a passion for wonderful food and its involvement with the New Zealand Culinary Team is a natural extension of that.

"These chefs use our products on a daily basis so we are delighted to be able to give something back and help provide the resources for them to prepare and train for their trip to Australia."

For the first time since 1996, New Zealand will have a competing representative at the World Culinary Olympics, being held in Erfhurt, Germany in October. Corey Hume from Clearwater Lakeside Restaurant in Christchurch will be New Zealand's first competitor since Rick Rutledge-Manning in 1996.

"This is an exciting opportunity for both Corey and for the New Zealand Culinary Team," says Gary Miller.

"To have a New Zealand representative at this year's World Culinary Olympics is fantastic. It shows signs of a bright future for other fellow chefs throughout the country," Gary added.

The Restaurant of Champions consists of a four-person team event, of which one member must be a trainee. The team has four hours in which to prepare a three-course lunch menu for service to 60 diners. They must produce in total 66 plates of each course, as six of these are taken away during service for judging.

The senior team must also produce 12 portions of a vegetarian alternative as well as a Hot Presented Cold of each of their dishes. The judging however only takes place on the three-course menu.

For the junior competition each chef will have to produce a 'Static' display piece as well as participate in a 'Live-Cook Off'.

"Over the next few months the junior chefs will be working with their assigned mentor to refine their skills and their dishes prior to attending a full squad workshop on the weekend of May 1," says Gary Miller "During this weekend, the team will be put through their paces by team management and invited judges. It should prove to be a very exciting time for everyone involved."

The junior team travels to Perth with the senior squad in August to compete against Australian Junior Chefs on August 15 to 17, while the senior squad are defending their title against 11 regional and state teams from around Australia.


Note: There is also a website for up-to-date news on the teams at


The senior squad for the 2004 Masterfoods New Zealand Culinary Team, who will be defending the Oceana Fest 'Restaurant of Champions Open Team Challenge' title are:

Team Captain: Jonny Schwass, Barcelona Restaurant, Christchurch

Jonny was Team Sous Chef in 2003 and has stepped up to take over the role of Team Captain. Jonny is well versed in what is expected within this particular competition and possesses great leadership qualities which will prove beneficial not only for the Open Team Challenge participants, but for the junior squad also.

Team Sous Chef: Andrew Brown, The Millennium Hotel, Christchurch

Andrew has successfully competed in numerous competitions during his career spanning the last 15 years. Andrew is sure to rise to the challenge when his skills as a chef will be put to the test during the 2004 campaign, as well as his ability to support his team captain in helping to guide the junior squad members.

Team Pastry Chef: Patsy-Anne Johnson, Christchurch Casino

Patsy-Anne has achieved individual success in both regional and national salons over the past few years. Her abilities and skills as a practitioner in the art of pastry will prove invaluable to the team during 2004.

Team Commis Chef: Guy Stanaway, The George Hotel, Christchurch

Guy was a member of the Toq d'Or Supreme Champions Team, from CPIT at the 2003 Salon Culinaire.

Team Olympic Representative: Corey Hume, Clearwater Lakeside Restaurant, Christchurch

Corey was the 2003 Team Pastry Chef and in 2004 Corey will be New Zealand's first Culinary Competitor at the World Culinary Olympics since Rick Rutledge-Manning in 1996. Corey will also be travelling to Germany with the Australian Culinary Team as their invited guest. He will compete in individual classes as a representative of New Zealand and will be responsible for training the Canterbury Region Junior Representative for the challenges of West Australia Oceana Fest.

The junior regional chefs representing New Zealand as part of the Masterfoods New Zealand Culinary Team at the West Australia Oceana Fest 2004 are:

Auckland Junior Representative: Daniel Brooker - Sky City Auckland.

Daniel is the most prolific junior competitor. Daniel's resume of competition achievement includes: 2003 NZ Culinary Fare Gold Medal with Distinction Winner - Junior Soup Silver Medal Winner - Junior Team Bronze Medal Winner - Junior Live Main Dessert

2002 NZ Culinary Fare Gold Medal Winner - Junior Team Skills (Overall winner Kitchen Cook-off) 2001 NZ Culinary Fare Bronze Medal Winner - Junior Team Skills (Kitchen Service) Bronze Medal Winner - Junior Team Skills (Overall)

Recipient of Sky City Quest For The Best Award

Daniel's mentor is Roberto Manuel who is Chef de Cuisine in The Observatory Restaurant in the Sky Tower.

New Plymouth Junior Representative: Taylor Rowe - The Mill Restaurant and Bar, New Plymouth

Taylor is the youngest squad member, but by no means the least experienced, as he has assisted such luminaries as Greg Heffernen and Peter Thornley during demonstrations and master classes held in New Plymouth. He was a member of the Junior Team Skills Kitchen team at the 2003 Salon Culinaire where he was awarded a Silver Medal.

Taylor's mentor will be Jo Mulligan from Practical Education Institute (PEI), New Plymouth.

Palmerston North Junior Representative: Lisa Fletcher - Relax Restaurant, Palmerston North

Lisa's previous experience includes competing at the 2003 Wellington Salon Culinaire where she was awarded second place in the Beer & Food Matching competition.

Lisa's mentor will be UCOL senior tutor Richard Bruce.

Canterbury Junior Representative: Timothy Meikle, Cotswold Hotel, Christchurch

Timothy has previously competed at the CPIT Canterbury Salon Culinaire where he won a bronze medal for his desserts. He impressed the Canterbury selection panel with his bright, outgoing and enthusiastic personality.

Timothy's mentor will be Corey Hume.

Otago Junior Representative: Gina Finlay - Millbrook Resort, Queenstown

Gina is no stranger to the culinary arena having competed in the 2003 New Zealand Commis Chef of the Year, earning a gold and two silver medals for her efforts. She has previously been a member of the Toq d'Or team for Manukau Institute of Technology. She has also been a previous recipient of both the MIT Scholarship and Goodman Fielder Food Services Scholarship.

Her mentor will be Debbie Crompton, Executive Chef of Millbrook Resort.

The following support people will accompany both the senior and junior teams: Team Coach\Manager - Neil MacInnes, CPIT Well known and respected for his work with five consecutive back-to-back Toq d'Or Supreme Champion Teams as well as for his guidance and leadership with last year's New Zealand Culinary Team's gold medal success at the 2003 West Australia Oceana Fest. Further recognition of his hard efforts is evident with an individual gold medal in the Salmon Entrée Class.

Assistant Manager - Andy Gibb, Jade Stadium As a result of the expansion to the team to 11 members for the 2004 campaign, team management decided that further back up and assistance would be necessary. Andy's responsibilities will include assisting with logistics and support.

Team Business Manager - Gary Miller, Christchurch Casino Once again Gary will be looking after all of the fundamental team structures and systems, as well as providing liaison between the team and their 'partners' to ensure that their interests and investments in the team are looked after.


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