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Vital Ingredients for a Winning Dish

Media release

August 16, 2004.

Vital Ingredients for a Winning Dish

We've watched in awe as the All Blacks crushed England earlier this year and the Black Sticks qualified for the Olympics, now it's the turn of the Black Knives - New Zealand's crème de la crème of culinary talent to go to battle against eleven trans-Tasman rivals at the 2004 West Australia Oceana Fest.

The Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team (Black Knives) is defending its 2003 title 'Restaurant of Champions Open Team Challenge' and the junior chefs will compete in individual classes against their Australian peers.

Gary Miller, business manager for the New Zealand Culinary Team says, "the senior team was announced in January and the chefs have spent the past eight months experimenting with a vast array of ingredients to create three 'award winning' competition dishes".

The senior team has been busy whipping, blending, chopping and stirring up a selection of delicacies to show off the fantastic talent and culinary 'vision' there is in New Zealand.

"The dishes challenge 'traditional' cuisine. For example, the team has created a 'black pudding loaf' - a traditional black pudding inside a Yorkshire pudding," added Miller.

The Senior team consists of Team Captain Jonny Schwass from Barcelona Restaurant in Christchurch, the Team Sous Chef Andrew Brown from The Millennium Hotel, the Team Pastry Chef Patsy-Anne Johnson from the Christchurch Casino and the Team Commis Chef Guy Stanaway from The George Hotel.

In preparation for the team's trip to Perth, the Kiwi chefs have attending training sessions; carried out cooking demonstrations at food shows and expos across the country; entered, been nominated for and won regional chef competitions and titles all while holding down full time jobs.

Team Captain Jonny Schwass, says "Every little bit helps and the fantastic achievements of individual team members to date is a promising sign of what lies ahead for the team as a whole at the West Australia Oceana Fest next week. I am confident we will return with a number of medals."

Gary Miller says the junior team has also been busy preparing for its competition next week and similarly to the senior chefs, individual team members have received huge recognition and achievement in the past months.

The team includes Daniel Brooker from Sky City, Auckland; Taylor Rowe Level 4 Diploma Student at Practical Education Institute, New Plymouth; Lisa Fletcher from Relax Restaurant, Palmerston North; Tim Meikle from The George Hotel, Christchurch and Gina Finlay from Millbrook Resort, Queenstown.

"The trip to Perth is looking to be an exciting, yet challenging one for all the chefs involved. Their skills and knowledge will be put to the test during the various competitions next week, but I feel we have a huge opportunity here to prove just how great our Kiwi chefs are," added Miller.

Team sponsor Keith McDonald, Masterfoods National Sales Manager, Foodservice has attended a number of the team training sessions and practice dinners.

"Over the past few months I have seen and tasted the amazing quality and style of food the Black Knives and junior team have produced and witnessed the immense professionalism the teams have in the kitchen.

"On behalf of all the teams' supporters, we wish them all the best at this year's West Australia Oceana Fest," said McDonald.


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

Notes to Editors:

· The two teams are in Perth at the 2004 West Australia Oceana Fest from August 18 - 27. The winners will be announced on August 26.

· The Restaurant of Champions consists of a four-person team event, of which one member must be a trainee. The team has four hours to prepare a three-course lunch menu for 60 diners. They must produce in total 66 plates of each course, because six plates will be taken away throughout the competition for judging. The team must also produce 12 portions of a vegetarian alternative as well as a Hot Presented Cold of each dish. However, the judging 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'.

* Achievements thus far for the senior team members include, Guy Stanaway wining the Mainland Products 2004 Canterbury Chefs Best Young Chef competition in June, Jonny Schwass and Andrew Brown both named as finalists for the Meadow Mushrooms Outstanding Canterbury Chef Award in the 2004 Kapiti Fine Foods Canterbury Hospitality Awards and Guy Stanaway named as finalist in the Moffat Ltd Outstanding Canterbury Young Chef Award also in June. * Individual junior chefs' achievements include Tim Miekle awarded second place at the Mainland Products 2004 Canterbury Chefs Best Young Chef competition in June, he was also awarded second place for South Island Young Chef of the Year during the same month and in July Daniel Brooker was named the New Zealand Young Culinarian of the Year at the New Zealand Chefs Association Annual Conference in Wellington.

The Restaurant of Champions Menu

Roasted Akaroa Salmon Fillet

with Chevre de Bellay cheesecake, rhubarb and Ruby Grapefruit salad,

and mushroom essence, accompanied by herbed oil,

grapefruit syrup and a crisp mushroom tuille.


Proscuito Wrapped Loin of Pork,

pot roasted, and accompanied by

black pudding loaf and whole grain mustard jus.

Served with ham and potato hash, savoury red cabbage

and mixed greens.



Caramelised pineapple with chilli papaya, mango sorbet,

Malibu panacotta and a tropical fruit shot.

© Scoop Media

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