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WelTec Students Prepare for International Competition

WelTec Students Prepare for International Competition

Left to Right: Daniel Baird and Ryan Bloomfield work against the clock to prepare their three-course competition meal.

WelTec students, Daniel Baird and Ryan Bloomfield, have been putting in the hard yards to prepare for the International Culinary Competition (ICC) in Kansas on June 4.

Johnson County Community College will host teams of two from five culinary institutions around the world to compete in a 3.15 hour long cook-off.

Ryan carefully adds the finishing touches to the entrée.

Teams will prepare a three-course meal where the entrée must feature salmon, the main a cut of shoulder beef and the dessert Callebaut chocolate.

Ryan and Daniel have been practicing their menu under the watchful eye of WelTec tutors and chefs, Ray Morrell and Scott Campbell.

Ray Morrell keeps a vigilant eye on the students.

“It’s a long competition”, says Morell, “there won’t be a second when they’ll be standing still”.

Ryan and Daniel plate up their main course.

Morell says Daniel and Ryan were chosen to represent WelTec at the ICC because “they have competed in some smaller competitions such as: The Wellington Salon and the National Culinary Competition in Auckland.”

“Winning material consists of hard work. We’re looking for students that don’t question how long they have to be here. In international competitions, you need to have prior knowledge. You need to have students that have some skill in it and can handle the pressure.”

Morrell and Campbell have helped develop the menu Ryan and Daniel will use in the competition.

Entrée: Salmon, cured, paté and tartare, served on a celeriac salad with pickled radish and watercress emulsion sauce.

“They know what the ingredients are, they are going into the competition knowing exactly what they’re doing… it’s not a mystery box,” Morrell says.

Ryan and Daniel say they have been practicing for the ICC roughly 15 hours a week, on top of class and employment commitments.

Both students studied the cookery course at WelTec in 2014 and went on to study the 17-week patisserie course this year.

Main: Beef tender, served with baby carrot, caramelised shallot, braised beef rib, swiss chard and shitake mushroom cream and borderlaise jus.

When asked about the prizes for the winning the ICC, both Ryan and Daniel seemed unconcerned.

“The prize is getting to compete”, says Daniel, “an opportunity like this doesn’t come around every day.”

Desert: Raspberry gel, white chocolate marquis, hazelnut brownie and dehydrated meringue.

Morell describes the competition as a small part of a whole week of activities the students will be doing in Kansas.

“It’s a lot of networking between all five countries.”

The competition is in its 4th year, with WelTec taking out gold in 2013 when it was held in Wellington.

Morrell says he is confident about the students’ chances, “they are cooking to time, but there is always the home advantage.”


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