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Budding Kiwi Chefs Shine in Teen Cooking Competition

Budding Kiwi Chefs Shine in Teen Cooking Competition

Hundreds of Kiwi school kids entered the 2014 Just Cook “Create a Family Meal Challenge” with two budding culinary stars taking top honours in this national competition.

Anna Kelly from Havelock North Intermediate School has been judged the overall winner of the Just Cook Create a Family Meal Challenge for her Mega Vege Mexican Stack which was entered in the Beef + Lamb NZ category, while Aidan Clark from Manurewa High School has been recognised as the Champion of Champions for his Chilli Mussel Fettuccini in San Remo’s “Make it with Pasta” category.

Students had the option of entering five categories in the Just Cook Create a Family Meal Challenge; Aquaculture NZ, I Love Eggs, Tegel, Sanitarium and Beef + Lamb NZ. Entries across all five categories were then judged for two supreme prizes – San Remo’s “Make it with Pasta” and Wattie’s “Colour your Plate with Veg.”

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation, organisers of the Just Cook Create a Family Meal Challenge, were excited by the high level of engagement from school aged children (Year 7-13) to get in the kitchen and “Just Cook”.

New Zealand Nutrition Foundation dietitian, Sarah Hanrahan says, “The calibre of the entries this year were outstanding. Most of the recipes received would delight any family sitting down to dinner, but Anna’s Mega Vege Mexican Stackparticularly stood out as it’s delicious, easy to make and affordable.

“We were also highly impressed with Aidan’s Chilli Mussel Fettuccini which highlighted how versatile and affordable mussels are when combined with pasta for every day family meals.”

The challenge issued to students was to “Just Cook” a family meal. Students created an original recipe from the ingredients on the Just Cook Food List – a selection of pantry and fridge/freezer essentials that the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation recommends all Kiwi households keep on hand. The recipes were then judged on their value for money, taste, appearance and nutritional value to feed a family of five.

“Many young people don’t know their way around a kitchen and it’s resulting in fewer home cooked meals for the next generation. Families who cook and eat at home are more likely to have a healthier diet. The Just Cook Create a Family Meal Challenge is focused on getting young kiwis into the kitchen to gain confidence in their cooking ability,” says Hanrahan.

This is the fourth year that the Just Cook Create a Family Meal Challenge has run as part of the Just Cook programme, an initiative devised by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation.


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