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National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge Final

National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge Final About to Get Underway

The best regional secondary school culinary teams, hospitality tutors and a judging panel of industry-leading executive chefs have arrived at the Manukau Institute of Technology for the final of the cooking competition dubbed ‘Junior Masterchef’.

Nine teams from all over NZ compete in the final of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge today. Live updates during the intense 90 minute cook-off in MIT’s state-of-the-art patisserie will be posted on and MIT's Facebook page

Chief Judge, Mark Wylie says the panel is focused on two main things, “we are looking for innovation and excellence and I make no apology for the extremely high expectations this judging panel has. It's not home economics anymore, students choose to train in food technology and we believe the 18 students in the nine regional rep teams here today are future leaders of our industry”.

Ben Bayly of TVNZ’s newest hit show MKR (NZ) is on the judging panel this afternoon, “having the support of highly accomplished chefs like Ben is testament to the prestige the NSSCC has within the industry… call it succession planning. We were honoured to have Simon Gault on the panel for the Auckland regional competition, are rapt to have Ben here today and Josh Emmet has already thrown his hat in the ring for next year”.

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Northland: Northland Trades Academy (Whangarei) – Hayden Rodgers (Whangarei Boys) and Mataroria Rawhiti (Tauraroa Area School)
Auckland: Long Bay College (North Shore) – Kiwon Lee and Minseop Kim
Waikato: Sacred Heart Girls' College (Hamilton) – Melissa Petrin and Hannah Ralph
Hawkes Bay: St John's College (Hastings) – Jake Ireland and Sam Heaven
Taranaki: Spotswood College (New Plymouth) – Bree Paton-Courtney and Shardae McGoven
Wellington: Heretaunga College (Upper Hutt) – Tyler Langerveld and Grace Cunningham
Nelson/Marlborough: Nelson College – Chakkapong Klahan and Louis Clark
Canterbury: Burnside High School (Christchurch) – Kimberly McLeod and Sharon Cao
Southern: Queen's High School (Dunedin) – Lauren Wright and Abby Johnson

The two students who win the National Title will receive a gift pack each from, an iPad mini and a $2,000 scholarship each towards their study of a City & Guilds International Catering Qualification, in a City & Guilds approved training centre of their choice.
The winning school will receive a $1,000 voucher from Bidvest and a E32D4 Blue Seal Turbofan Oven and Stand from Moffat New Zealand worth $7,000.

Chief Judge, Mark Wylie has an impressive CV. Now the General Manager of Cater Plus, the 41 year old, was the Head of Kitchens for the largest hospitality site in NZ for five years. The role included overseeing 23 restaurants, 200+ chefs including Peter Gordon and Al Brown. Managing a multi-million dollar budget and buying all of the produce.
Wylie returned to NZ from the USA to take the Sky City Auckland job. Just before departing he was offered, but ended up declining, the position of Executive Chef at Bellagio – the iconic Las Vegas hotel known for its powerful water fountains that featured in the George Clooney/Brad Pitt blockbuster, Oceans 11

The annual National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge is made possible by strong support from the following sponsors; City & Guilds NZ Chicken - Southern Hospitality – - Potatoes New Zealand - 5+ A DAY - – Moffatt -


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