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Kiwi chefs scoop gold in top Aussie competition

Kiwi chefs scoop gold in top Australian competition

The Black Knives, New Zealand's crème de la creme culinary team, have struck gold at this year's Western Australia Oceana Fest competition to find the region's top chefs.

Demonstrating competitive drive and Kiwi flair, the Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary senior team was awarded one of only two Gold medals in the 'Restaurant of Champions' competition held in Perth this week.

Meanwhile the junior team blitzed their rivals, scooping 10 medals including five Golds. The gold medal haul of the five junior Kiwis matched the total number of golds awarded to all other 42 junior competitors from throughout Australasia and the Pacific.

One of four senior event judges Michael Strautmanis says: "For this senior team to be awarded one of only two Gold medals is a brilliant achievement. The competition was tough, but they showed immense skill, professionalism and great camaraderie - the judges rated their first course as the competition's best.

"They have huge talent. I am positive they would stand a very good chance at other international competitions."

The competition was based on the categories, rules and judging criteria as specified by the World Association of Cooks Society, used in prestigious events such as the Culinary Olympics, the Culinary World Cup and Food Asia.

Senior team Captain Jonny Schwass from Barcelona Restaurant, Christchurch says, "We're delighted to win gold. At the moment we all feel on cloud nine and can't wait to return to family, friends and colleagues. These people have supported us through the last year in so many different ways - this gold medal is as much for them as it is for us as a team. We are just so proud to be here in Perth representing New Zealand".

Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team Manager Gary Miller said:

"This year we pledged to expand the opportunities available to New Zealand Chefs. Thanks to the support of our sponsors, we were also able to include a junior squad representing New Zealand Chefs Association regions."

Team sponsor Keith McDonald, Masterfoods National Sales Manager, Foodservice says the results for both teams is fantastic.

''The chefs have spent months training for this event and the results clearly show the talent and skill each member posses. On behalf of Masterfoods, I want to congratulate their success and look forward to working with them in the future."

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