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UCOL cooks bring home a pot of gold

UCOL cooks bring home a pot of gold

UCOL Cookery and Hospitality students from the Palmerston North and Wairarapa campuses have returned from Friday’s Wellington Culinary Fare competitions laden with medals.

Certificate in Professional Cookery student Lauren Birch won a Gold medal and her Beef Main course was judged the best in the Open class.

Lauren’s lecturer Mark Smith says Lauren’s success is especially pleasing as a win in the hot kitchen is a true test of skill and discipline. “The competitors are preparing their dishes from scratch and are under the judges’ scrutiny the whole time,” he says. “It’s a very high pressure environment.”

Lauren had to present four identical servings of her roast eye fillet steak, port wine jus, tea smoked kumara and potato stack and vegetables in just one hour.

Samantha Christison also brought home a Gold medal and gained second place for her Dreamy Gateau in the Open class. Maia Wihere and Sarah Wilson each won a Silver medal for their entries in the Superb Soup Trainee class.

Catherine Drinnan’s Regal Salmon entry in the Open class won her a Bronze medal and Connor Kernan was awarded a Certificate for his Hot Chicken Brunch.

Certificate in Hospitality student Thomas Pearson won a silver medal and was named Top of Class for his Classic Cocktail. He also gained a Bronze for Trainee Waiters Table.

Thomas’ fellow Hospitality student Geneveve Du Plessis won a Bronze in each of the Classic Cocktail and Trainee Waiters Table classes.

Wairarapa UCOL cookery students Matt Lett and Casey Watson competed in trainee classes at the annual competition. Matt won a Silver medal in the Chicken Brunch class, and Casey received a Bronze medal in the Superb Soup class.

Wairarapa UCOL team members Joseph Parata and Dominique Waimotu both entered the Open classes, but were placed just outside the medals.

UCOL’s Head of School of Hospitality and Continuing Education Julie Poole, says the medal haul is the result of a lot of hard work by the students and the UCOL staff involved in their training. “We are very proud of our teams’ success in this highly respected culinary competition.”


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