Hospitality students serve up a win at Worldskills
WelTec hospitality students serve up a win at Worldskills
Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) hosted the Worldskills regional event on April 12 gathering the best young trades professionals in the region. WelTec cookery students, Jamie Armour, Tom Monk and Hannah Bennet, Emma Kleintjes and Phoebe Adams all took the top prizes, and not just in cookery. The WelTec team took the honours in cookery, patisserie and also food and beverage.
Jamie Armour, Tom Monk and Hannah Bennet placed first, second and third respectively in the cookery competition. The result was somewhat of a surprise, particularly, to Jamie and Hannah having only recently started studying cookery this year. “It was very surprising. It was a bit touch and go at times but it all worked out well in the end” says Jamie. “I love cooking, I like being able to be creative. The competition was great - I really enjoy the pressure on the day it’s so challenging”.
Emma Kleintjes, a Certificate in Food and Beverage graduate and current cookery student took out first place in the Food and Beverage section. “I thought the competition was very close. We had a few days of training in the lead up to the event. We had to make a variety of cocktails, mocktails, decant white and red wine and prepare for service. There’s so much involved, people are generally not aware of everything that goes on behind the scenes with silver service. I was very excited with the result.”
For the first time in Worldskills competition history, patisserie was added to the skill categories. The event was won by Phoebe Adams. Phoebe who is currently in her first year of cookery at WelTec has had limited experience in patisserie. “We do a certain amount of patisserie within the cookery course. I’ve also had training sessions with the tutors at WelTec to prepare me for the competition. I initially thought we were given plenty of time but you definitely need all the time you are given, it goes so quickly. I was quite surprised with the result. The judges were walking around with their clipboards and you have no idea what they are writing but the judges did actually help relax us and they were very complimentary.”
The students all credit their success to the support of the tutors and Worldskills experts. WelTec students and staff are not unfamiliar with this kind of success as demonstrated by WelTec’s recent endorsement as a centre of vocational excellence for Hospitality and Tourism. The teaching staff at WelTec include the Chef of the Capital for the past two years, Patrick Hogan and Scott Campbell as well as previous Pastry Chef of the Year, Pauline Nunns. Last year three WelTec students won gold medals for both cookery and front of house in the prestigious Nestlé Toque d’Or competition, held at the New Zealand Culinary Fare.
So what’s next for these chefs of the future? Taking the top prize has certainly given these students a taste for success. Three will go on to compete in the national competition in September with the goal of qualifying to complete in the world event in Calgary in 2009. Both Emma and Phoebe are keen to continue with their studies and all of them are eager to travel with their qualifications from Europe, Asia and South America and all the places in between. It is clear that all five have a bright future in cookery.