Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Young Wellington chef wins $10,000 bursary

Young Wellington chef wins $10,000 bursary

Carlita Campbell

The only female and youngest chef among the finalists has been awarded the inaugural Ōra King Chef’s Bursary worth $10,000.

Christchurch-born chef de partie Carlita Campbell (21) who works at Wellington’s Cobar Restaurant plans to use her prize to test her skills in London for three weeks “where hard chefs are made”.

Ms Campbell was one of three finalists who competed in phase II of the judging at The Foodstore restaurant in Auckland on 18 March. The other two finalists were Krishnil Dutt from Auckland’s Masu Japanese Robata Restaurant & Bar and Scott Gibbs from Christchurch restaurant Tequila Mockingbird.

The trio prepared and plated their self-created Ōra King dishes prior to an interview with the judging panel about their plans for the future.

Ms Campbell prepared Beetroot cured Ōra King Salmon on beurre noisette rye crumbs with pickled golden beets and vanilla mayonnaise.

“To win this $10,000 Ōra King Chef’s Bursary is a dream come true,” Ms Campbell says. “I can’t wait to go to London and immerse myself in the food culture there and bring all those learnings back home with me.

“It’s no secret chefs can struggle to meet the costs of gaining experience so I feel very supported in my career path. It’s great to have companies such as Ōra King helping young chefs and the industry with these opportunities.”

Ms Campbell is no stranger to the chef’s podium. She won her first cooking competition at age 12 and has won a further 26 medals since. Her ambition is to one day have her own restaurant in New Zealand.

The judges say Ms Campbell’s dish “delivers striking visual impact consistent across all plates with well-balanced flavours and textures”.

“The dish was designed to look like a vibrant garden on a plate and the taste lives up to what we saw on paper in Carlita’s application – eating it is the best bit,” they commented. “It was a really well thought-out dish.”

Ōra King ambassador chef Mark Southon from The Food Store says New Zealand needs more chefs like Ms Campbell.

“She has a vision that she wants her own restaurant and to have that goal is great – that’s why you’re in the industry,” Chef Southon says. “It’s blood, sweat and tears for years.”

Ōra King’s Jemma McCowan says she was impressed with the quality of all three finalists on the day. Each had developed a distinct cuisine style from their own experiences and the variety of trip proposals reflected these individual passions.

“We knew we were in for a tough decision once we’d tasted all three of the dishes. It was also a privilege to listen to the candidates’ aspirations to succeed in the industry – the opportunity obviously meant a lot to each finalist and there were some emotional moments on the day.

“We see bright futures ahead for each of the finalists, but in the end Carlita just had the edge - we are looking forward to supporting her towards the next stage of her career,” Ms McCowan says.

Ms Campbell heads to London in May where she is planning a work placement at Marcus Wareing at The Berkley Restaurant, an elegant Knightsbridge restaurant set within the renowned Berkeley Hotel.

She also plans to immerse herself in the established London street food market scene where she will identify a street food / market vendor of note and work alongside the owner for a short time. Ms Campbell is going to blog regularly about her experiences from the Ōra King website

The award was judged by culinary industry leaders magazine editor Sarah Nicholson, president of NZ Guild of Food Writers Trudi Nelson and Ōra King’s Jemma McCowan. Mark Southon joined the panel for the final.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news