Two Educational Scholarships awarded at Grand Final
14th September 2018
Two Educational Scholarships awarded at the 2018 National Secondary Schools Culinary Championships Grand Final
On the 4th September sixteen of the most talented hospitality students from around New Zealand took on the ultimate food battle in Auckland – the chance to win the coveted title of 2018’s National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge, and a chance to win one of two $2000 educational scholarships within an accredited City & Guilds Centre in the Pacific Region.
Now in its sixth year, the National Secondary Schools Culinary Championships (NSSCC) is the largest secondary school culinary competition in the country. The scholarships on offer will allow recipients to pursue their cooking dream in 2019 and gain a City & Guilds internationally recognised qualification.
In the final students had 90 minutes to prepare, cook and present four individually-plated portions each of an entrée and a main course. The entrée had to contain fresh New Zealand-grown tomatoes as the principal component of the dish; the main course had to consist of a portion of Waitoa free range chicken breast, skin on and bone in, and include three fresh New Zealand-grown vegetables, one of which must be a potato.
Burnside High School in Christchurch were declared the winners of the overall competition. Isabella Viakai, from Manurewa High School, and Sam Ashmore, from Te Awamutu College, were awarded a $2000 scholarship each to study at any accredited City & Guilds centre in the Pacific Region.
All winners were chosen by a panel of six judges: Mark Wylie (Head Judge and National Account Sales Manager at Southern Hospitality Ltd), Ben Bayly (Co-owner/Chef, The Grounds, Henderson), Gareth Stewart (Executive Chef, Nourish Group), Jeremy Schmidt (Owner/Chef The Officers Mess), Craig Lucas (Chef Lecturer, MIT) and Liam Fox (Owner/Chef Forte Greene).
Wylie says picking a winner wasn’t easy. “The technical skills, like the butchering and cooking techniques have been outstanding – two of the floor judges, Ben Bayly and Jeremy Schmidt, said that they would happily give any of the students competing today a job in their kitchens. To get an accolade like that from chefs of their calibre is impressive – all the finalists should be very proud.” In 2018 scholarship recipients all gained apprenticeships within Sky City – Auckland where they will also gain their City & Guilds qualifications through their program.
The 2019 National Secondary School Culinary Challenge is organised by the Culinary Arts Development Trust and Co-Sponsored by – City & Guilds, Bidfood, Potatoes, Southern Hospitality, Service IQ, Moffat, Waitoa, 5+aDay, Vegetables.co.nz.
Congratulations again to the scholarship winners Isabella Viakai – Manurewa High School and Sam Ashmore – Te Awamutu College. We can’t wait to see where you go and what you do with your City & Guilds qualification.