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School chefs' chance to display culinary prowess

High school chefs given the chance to display their culinary prowess

News article issued on behalf of the
Hospitality Standards Institute

The overwhelming success of a high school cooking competition launched last year has driven the Hospitality Standards Institute to expand the concept out into two new regions.

The inaugural Northern Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge was run in the far north last year and attracted interest from more than a dozen schools across the region. In response to the incredible enthusiasm shown not only by participating schools, but also the student competitors, HSI has expanded youth-focused initiative to include Rotorua and Christchurch this year.

The Hospitality Challenge initially involves competing schools writing a themed three- course menu utilising supplied ingredients. Schools with the most innovative and exciting menus are then selected to proceed through to a live cook-off final.

The culinary teams consisting of two teenage chefs are then required to prepare, cook and present their three-course menu - based on a work plan they had submitted - in a three hour time frame. Judges assess knife skills, cleanliness and hygiene, presentation, as well as the taste and visual appeal of the dishes.

Prizes include equipment provided by House of Knives, a week of work experience in a Millenium Hotel and Resorts hotel, and a night’s accommodation for the winning school’s hospitality teacher. HSI will also provide the winning team from each region with support through to the National Culinary Fare in Auckland later this year.

For the Northland competition to be held on July 3, Northland Polytechnic is providing a training scholarship in the prize package, while Catering Plus magazine is providing magazine subscriptions and books to winners. Judges for Northland Hospitality Challenge are Pete Nichol from Northland Polytechnic, HSI training advisor Glenn Fulcher, chef Brenton Low from A’Decco Restaurant in Whangarei and chef/restaurateur Paul Jobin of Pure Tastes Restaurant in Kerikeri.

Meanwhile in Canterbury, the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology is hosting the Hospitality Challenge in Christchurch on June 26. Judges for the cook off are yet to be confirmed. The venue and date for the Hospitality Challenge in Rotorua are to be announced in the coming weeks, with entries closing at the end of June.

Schools or high school students interested in displaying their cookery prowess at any of the three Hospitality Challenges can register for any of the regional cook-offs through the HSI free-phone help desk. Phone 0800 ASK 4 HSI (0800 275 4474).


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