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Aspiring young chefs battle it out for burger supremacy

31 July 2017

Aspiring young chefs battle it out for burger supremacy

Marinated pork and lamb patties, a burger roll topped with black bean spread, chimichurri, avocado-chilli relish and chipotle mayonnaise.

These South American ingredients and flavours were the influence for the Rio burger that won over judges in the final of Auckland Council’s What’s Your Flavour burger battle and crowned Saahil Bali and Dylan Fernandes, students from Lynfield College, Auckland’s Secondary School burger building champions.

They were competing in the final of Auckland Council’s What’s Your Flavour Burger Battle. The annual challenge gives secondary school students an opportunity to cook for and impress professional chefs; it also allows students to explore career opportunities within the hospitality industry.

Teams of two had just one hour to create a healthy burger with a cultural twist. First runners up Kasey Turrall-Poulter and Amy Watson from Westlake Girls High School created a mediterranean inspired burger while Annie Mills and Pania Pique from Rosehill College took third place and their inspiration from humble kiwi lamb with beetroot chutney.

Guest judge and Ōrākei Ward councillor Desley Simpson says she was impressed with the students and the quality and variety in the burgers they produced.

“I was amazed by how unique each burger was and in particular how each team’s culture was reflected in their creation. You could actually see Auckland’s cultural diversity on a plate.”

NZ Chefs Executive Officer Carmel Clark says What’s Your Flavour is a great council initiative that encourages students to view hospitality as a potential career option.

“The idea is to get students engaged in creating their own twist on a family favourite and it helps develops skills needed to cook wholesome food at home. Some of these students go on to consider careers in the industry, which is great as we know there is very strong demand with the growth of tourism in Auckland.”

NZ Hospitality Championships Salon Director and Auckland chef Grant Kitchen says the competition is a good introduction to the hospitality industry.

“Students were judged on the nutritional value of their burgers, the flavour, the presentation, the preparation of the dish and the health and hygiene behind it. We were pleased with the level of competence around this competition. I know if students succeed in competitions, they also succeed in the industry. What’s Your Flavour is a great environment to experience the pressure of a commercial kitchen.”

What’s Your Flavour is delivered in partnership with the NZ Chefs Association and sponsored by New World. The final was held at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane as part of the NZ Hospitality Championships.


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