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Top hospitality apprentices get ready for heat

Date: 11 June 2008

Top hospitality apprentices get ready to handle the heat

New Zealand’s top hospitality apprentices are getting ready to handle the heat in the annual industry challenge for top place as New Zealand’s Modern Apprentice of the Year.

Organised by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI), the national competition will see eight selected apprentice chefs and eight selected food and beverage apprentices competing for their respective Modern Apprentice of the Year awards in Wellington on July 7, timed to coincide with HSI’s national conference.

The prestigious NZ-UK Link Foundation Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year competition involves the apprentice chefs designing a three-course menu, based on a set list of ingredients, and then cooking to that menu within three hours.

HSI Chief Executive, Steve Hanrahan, says the cooking competition is designed to be intense, with four judges assessing competitors’ kitchen work through to the finished product. The winner will receive a six-week work experience placement in England organised by Kiwi restaurateur Peter Gordon, including a week in his popular London restaurant, The Providores, and more than £3,000 to cover expenses.

NZ-UK Link Foundation committee member Philippa Falloon says this environment is a great test. “It brings out the best and shows the very good training that HSI have provided. The Foundation is extraordinarily grateful to HSI for delivering the competition at such a high standard.”

The HSI Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year competition is equally as challenging, with competitors setting and serving a table based on a three course set menu including a silver service main, then competing in a wine evaluation challenge. Mr Hanrahan says the wine challenge really tests apprentices’ product knowledge, in which they needed to name the varietal, region, year and characteristics of five wines.

The winning Food and Beverage apprentice will receive a trip to an Australian wine-growing region of their choice, with $1,500 towards flights and accommodation.

The competition will be held at two venues in Petone; WelTec will host the Cookery event and the Petone Workingmen’s Club will host the Food and Beverage section. The winners will be announced at the HSI gala dinner at the Wellington Town Hall on July 7.

As the hospitality industry’s training organisation (ITO), HSI leads access to training and qualifications for the hospitality industry including overseeing, supervising, assisting and reviewing all nationally recognised training for chefs, waiters, baristas, bar persons, porters, hotel receptionists, room-attendants, house-keepers, supervisors and managers.
HSI also provides support and guidance to schools, polytechnics and providers that teach and assess Unit Standards through hospitality courses.

Competition finalists are:
NZ-UK Link Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year:
Samuel Ward - Millennium Hotel, Christchurch
Giann Ordonio - Sky City, Auckland
William Lauder - The French Cafe, Auckland
Chris Miriam - Huka Lodge, Taupo
Simon Hoffman - Wine Chambers, Auckland
Thomas Townsend - Sky City, Auckland
Paul Ansell - Logan Brown, Wellington
Heath Naylor - Vintners Hotel, Marlborough

HSI Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year:
Brendan Verry - Millennium Hotel, Christchurch
Belinda Climo - Rydges Hotel, Christchurch
Allan Gifford - Bayview Wairakei Resort, Taupo
Shaun Kleynhans - Wellington Convention Centre, Wellington
Latham Lockwood - Hotel Coachman, Palmerston North
Christina Harwood - Ma Maison Restaurant, Akaroa
Ben Doughty - Sky City, Auckland
Regan Struthers - Soul Bar & Bistro, Auckland


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