Cook Islanders in NZ’s premier culinary competition
August 13 2013
Cook Islanders only international team in NZ’s premier culinary competition
A trio of top culinary students from the Cook Islands has arrived in Auckland to compete at the prestigious Nestlé Toque d’Or competition in Auckland next Monday, August 19.
The three students from the Hospitality and Tourism Training Centre in Rarotonga are the only international team in the invitation-only competition, attended by culinary students aged under 25, from 11 New Zealand tertiary training institutions.
Nestlé Toque d’Or is New Zealand’s most prestigious culinary and restaurant service student competition. The Cook Islands Hospitality & Training Centre has competed at this event since 2011 with increasing success. In 2012, the team won a Gold Medal in restaurant service and two Bronze Medals in the cookery section.
Cook Islands Tourism Corporation General Manager in New Zealand, Graeme West, said the team considered it a great honour to be invited to compete at Nestlé Toque d’Or for a third year.
“The team is very proud to represent Cook Islands cuisine in this competition and take their combined culinary abilities to the international stage,” he said. “Being the only international team invited to participate speaks volumes.”
Mr West said most visitors to the Cook Islands were delighted at the superb cuisine. “The plentiful tropical fresh fruit and vegetables, superb seafood, free range pork and chicken, is simply delicious. The innate Cook Islands hospitality means it is always served with great courtesy and friendliness.”
The competition takes place on Monday 19 August at the ASB Showground in Auckland.
Each team consist of two cookery students and a restaurant service student and the team is responsible for cooking and serving six plates of a three course meal, each dish utilising a Nestlé product. Three plates are for restaurant guests, two for judging and one for display.
Fundraising efforts of the team members along with a grant from the Corporation enabled the Cook Islands to be represented in the competition.