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UCOL team warm up for culinary contest

UCOL team warm up for culinary contest

UCOL will be well represented at the Wellington Culinary Fare next week with a total of eight students from the Palmerston North campus competing in the cookery and hospitality events.

Professional Cookery students Zoe Paris and Ally Behrens Burleigh, and Hospitality student Amy Robinson have joined forces to contest the Teams category.

Zoe and Ally will have two and a half hours to prepare, cook and plate five identical servings of a three course meal in the heat of the live kitchens. It is then Amy’s job, at front of house, to serve the judges.

The Culinary Fare’s team competition is being used as preparation for the prestigious Nestlé Toque d’Or competition at the National Culinary Fare in Auckland in August.

Palmerston North Chef Lecturer and Team Manager Mark Smith says, “this is the perfect opportunity to form a solid team that can work towards the Toque d’Or.”

Certificate in Baking and Pastry students Amy Bilton, Anne Conlan, Amy Haarhoff will each present static (or pre-prepared cold) entries in the Fresh Fruit Flan (Trainee) class.

Two Certificate in Hospitality students will compete in the Classic Cocktail competition. Matthew Kearins and Josiah Waldrom will each create three cocktails to impress their judges.

The competition comes very early in the year for the cookery and hospitality students. “They have only been in the teaching kitchens and restaurant for three months,” says Mark. “We select the team on simple criteria. Apart from any practical ability, they have to have a good attendance record and the right attitude.”

The students have been putting in extra hours in the teaching kitchens over the term break. They will continue to practise their dishes several times over the next week under the close scrutiny of their lecturers.

Zoe and Ally say their kitchen teamwork and the resulting dishes keep improving. “We get better each time,” says Zoe. “Communication is the key – having the same sense of humour also helps.”

A team of five students from UCOL’s Wairarapa based Professional Cookery programme will also take part as individuals in the annual Culinary Fare that runs in conjunction with the Wellington Food Show from 9 – 11 May.


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