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Ink Dries On Culinary "War Plan"

Media Release
February 11, 2005

Ink dries on Culinary "War Plan"

New Zealand's Culinary Team has gathered for its first "war counsel" as it begins its three-year tilt for a medal placing at the next World Culinary Food Championships.

Gary Miller, business manager of the MasterFoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team says the 11-member squad which met in Christchurch earlier this month, is one of the strongest ever assembled.

However, he says the team still faces a long road ahead as there are many milestones along the way.

"The squad set a goal to place in the top five at the Culinary World Champs in Singapore in 2006. No New Zealand team has ever attended this event before so we will go in as complete underdogs, facing the gourmet giants of the world - USA, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore and Sweden. If we make it into the top five at that event we will be in a very solid position for the Olympics in 2008," says Mr Miller.

Mr Miller says he is pleased with the initial vibe within the team, which bodes well for future success.

"We have now established a firm foundation to build our campaign on and I know the team will work tirelessly to wow the judges and present New Zealand's culinary expertise in the best possible way," he says.

Last year's team captain, Jonny Schwass, from Mojo's Kitchen in Christchurch, will once again lead the team. Other squad members from last year include vice captain Corey Hume from The Outrigger at Clearwater in Christchurch, Gina Finlay from Millbrook Resort in Queenstown, Andrew Brown from the Millennium Hotel in Christchurch and Lisa Fletcher from Dejeuner in Palmerston North.

New squad members include Jason Dell from Blanket Bay Resort in Glenorchy, Steve Le Corre from Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru, Marc Soper from Hotel d'Urville in Blenheim and Ryan Henley from Barcelona Restaurant in Christchurch.

Rejoining Mr Miller on the management team is coach Neil MacInnes from CPIT and assistant manager Andy Gibb from Jade Stadium.

New Zealand's chefs can definitely "cut the mustard" on the world stage. Last year the senior team brought home 'Double Gold' at the West Australia Oceana Fest after competing in the Restaurant of Champions Open Team Challenge. It was the second year in a row the team has won gold at that event.

Caroline Jones, MasterFoods Marketing Manager, Food says "it is exciting to see some of New Zealand's leading chefs brainstorming and plotting their approach to these up and coming culinary events. MasterFoods wishes them all the best for their future success."

Ends

Note: There is also a website for up-to-date news on the team at http://www.nzculinaryteam.com/

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