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NZ takes top award at International Culinary College Comp

Wellington Institute of Technology’s Jung Mo Sung in the heat of the competition which saw his team take out the top award. Floor judge Kristan Mulcahy, Sous Chef from Wellington’s Logan Brown Restaurant, watches on. Below, Beth Christieson Jung Mo Sung with their trophy.

New Zealand takes top award at International Culinary College Competition

New Zealand’s trainee chefs have taken away the top award at The International Culinary College Competition in Wellington.

Jung Mo Sung and Beth Christieson hospitality students from the Wellington Institute of Technology’s School of Hospitality triumphed in a 2 ½ hour cook-off against four of the best overseas teams. The School of Hospitality’s new $13M central city campus was the venue for the International Culinary Competition with the School hosting teams, support crews and culinary specialists including judges, from educational institutes in England, Australia, Hong Kong and the U.S.A.

Students Jung Mo Sung and Beth Christieson were amazed by their success. “Everyone worked so differently and the competition was very close,” says Ms Christieson.

All of the teams worked closely with their tutors to prepare for the competition with the Wellington Institute of Technology team choosing the New Zealand culture to inspire their menu selection.

Competition floor judge, Ricky Hung, who travelled from Hong Kong for the event, was impressed by the standard of competition.

“Overall it was very good for apprentices,” Mr Hung. “It’s a good challenge for these young people and helps their study as they move towards a career.”

Teams were given a list of core ingredients including New Zealand King Salmon and callebaut chocolate with which to plan their individual menus from. Judging was carried out on the floor by New Zealand and international judges and by a panel ‘blind tasting’ which included NZ Chef Association and City and Guilds representatives.

U.S. Johnson County Community Colleges team members Adam Glass and Sophia Elmer won the Best Entrée and Best Main Award. The two were very happy with their performance.

“It went as good as it possibly could have and the results seemed great. I would do it all again,” says Adam Glass. The trip to New Zealand was a first for the team of three students but high standard culinary competitions are nothing new, Mr Glass explained. Back home their college team consists of six members. “Next month we are off to Costa Rica to compete.”

Competing schools were Wellington Institute of Technology, New Zealand, Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre, VTC, Hong Kong, Johnson County Community College, USA, Polytechnic West, Australia; and Westminster Kingsway College, United Kingdom.

Australian students from Polytechnic West, Joseph Morgan and Simon Kruger, took out the best dessert category.


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