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New Zealand Chefs To Cook Up A Storm

New Zealand Chefs To Cook Up A Storm.

Press Release on behalf of The New Zealand Culinary Team

For the first time, New Zealand will be represented when the New Zealand Culinary Team compete with more than 600 chefs from 21 countries in a series of culinary competitions at Food & Hotel Asia 2006 The Culinary Challenge is held in conjunction with the biennial FHA2006, Asia's largest international food and hospitality event.

The Culinary Challenge comprises four categories of competition. Under the National Challenge, seven national teams from the Czech Republic, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Switzerland will present an ethnic cuisine representative of their countries in a three-course lunch for 80 diners each.

There will also be a scintillating display table featuring culinary art. The top three national teams will move on to participate in ‘The Battle for the Lion’ by cooking a three-course meal on the spot for 50 diners each.
Gary Miller, business manager for the New Zealand Culinary Team says, “this particular team was announced in January of last year and the chefs have spent the past fifteen months experimenting with a vast array of ingredients to create three ‘award winning’ competition dishes along with their cold display pieces”.

The 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 their own variation of Salmon and Cream Cheese, using only the best of ingredients from around New Zealand, such as Akaroa Salmon from the Banks Peninsula and products from Kapiti Fine Foods” added Miller.

The team consists of Team Captain Jonny Schwass from Christchurch, the Team Sous Chef, Corey Hume from Outrigger Resort Christchurch and fellow team members, Andrew Brown from The Millennium Hotel Christchurch the Team Pastry Chef Steve Le Corre from Aoraki Polytech in Timaru, Gina Finlay and Jason Dell from Blanket Bay, Glenorchy, Lisa Fletcher from Dejeuner in Palmerston North, Ryan Henly from Barcelona Restaurant Christchurch and Marc Soper from Partingtons Signature Restaurant at the Langham Hotel, Auckland. The Team is coached and trained by Neil MacInnes from CPIT and Andy Gibb from Christchurch Convention Center.

In preparation for the team’s trip to Singapore, the Kiwi chefs have attended training sessions; carried out cooking demonstrations at food shows and expos across the country; entered, been nominated for and won national chef competitions and titles and also attended the WA Oceana Fest in Perth in October of last year to trial some of their dishes for Singapore, all this, while holding down full time jobs.

Team Captain Jonny Schwass, says “Every little bit helps and the fantastic achievements of the team and individual team members to date is a promising sign of what lies ahead for the team as a whole at the FHA Culinary Challenge next week. I am confident we will achieve those goals that we have set for ourselves.”

“For some of us this has been four years of work aiming for this moment to compete on the World Stage against some of the leading culinary competition teams around today, now we have our chance and it’s a chance we are going to relish.”

The team departs for Singapore from Auckland on Saturday 22nd April. They will be displaying their cold set pieces on Wednesday 26th and competing in the ‘Live Hot kitchen’ on Thursday 27th April.

The team arrive home at Auckland airport at midday on Sunday 30th April.


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