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Nestle Toque d'Or To Link In With NZ Culinary Team


Nestle Toque d'Or to Link in with NZ Culinary Team

Competitors in this year's Nestlé Toque d'Or competition will have more than the coveted 'golden hat' to vie for, with an opportunity for a student to also win a place on the New Zealand Culinary Team (NZCT).

Nestlé FoodServices Business Development Manager, Phillip Townsend, said as well as demonstrating their skills in front of some of the nation's most highly-regarded culinary professionals, student chefs could also earn their way onto the NZCT which competes at an international level.

"The New Zealand Culinary team comprises a number of the nation's top chefs, and is coached and guided by some of our most experienced industry professionals," Phillip said.

"In May, the team competed at the prestigious American Culinary Classic in Chicago, winning three bronze medals. They also have their sights set on other international cooking events including ScotHot in Scotland in 2009 and the Singapore FHA Culinary Challenge in 2010.

"To become part of the team is a fantastic opportunity for any young chef looking to make their mark in the industry."

Phillip said competitors who would like to be considered for selection onto the NZCT simply need to register their interest with their tutors.

"In light of this exciting new development, Nestlé FoodServices is pleased that it can once again lend its support to New Zealand's premier student culinary arts and restaurant service competition - Nestle Toque d'Or."

The annual competition is now in its 17th year and Nestlé FoodServices has had a key involvement right from the start.

"We're proud to support a competition which internationally has acted as a launching pad for world famous chefs including Jamie Oliver and Anton Mosimann," Phillip said.

"The competition has also done some great things for talented young chefs and front of house staff here in New Zealand."

Last year's winning team from the Southland Institute of Technology all picked up top roles within the industry after graduating. Thom Hishon now works under the guidance of top chef Mark Wylie at Soul Bar and Bistro in Auckland, and Joseph Clarke is currently completing a scholarship at the prestigious Blanket Bay Lodge in Queenstown. Front of house competitor Kirsten Pirie has also gone on to work at the Kingsgate Hotel in Te Anau."

Nestlé Toque d'Or - which means 'golden hat' - is a challenging culinary and front of house service competition. Teams from tertiary institutions across the country prepare and serve six covers of a three-course meal in just two-and-a-half hours. Each team comprises three students - two culinary and one front-of-house.

The teams are judged by a panel of top industry culinary professionals, drawn from restaurants, lodges and training institutions across the country.

"Judging criteria includes preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste and service - so there's a lot to consider. Students develop their own unique menus using predetermined ingredients, and must meet strict time deadlines for each course."

The Nestlé Toque d'Or competition will take place on 3 September at Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre. Aside from Nestlé FoodServices, other sponsors include PERRIER, NZ Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau, Akaroa Salmon, and House of Knives.


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