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WelTec victorious at the Food Show

WelTec victorious at the Food Show

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec) hospitality students and staff proved that they are the best in the region, taking out the top honours at the Wellington Culinary Fare. Over the weekend of 14-16 May, the WelTec team won the two major categories at the event, the prestigous Ian MacLennan Memorial Trophy and Chef of the Capital.

In total 20 WelTec students entered Culinary Fare events and won First in Class in eight of the events. The students earned 19 medals, two trophies, four gold medals, 11 silver medals and four bronze medals.

Cherie Freeman, Head of Hospitality at WelTec was delighted with the result. “It shows the dedication of our students and staff, and the high standard of teaching WelTec prides itself on delivering.”

Chef of the Capital winner and WelTec Culinary Arts Lecturer, Ray Morrell said the win was a good year in the making. “It’s been a year of planning and developing ideas. I spent a lot of time practising small components and then the weeks leading up to the competition I put it all together practising the dish in its entirety.”

“The menu had to feature products that were uniquely Wellington matched with an appropriate beverage. The competition inspired me to think about what is available in the Wellington region, the results have surprised me. Seafood is perhaps one of the best resources that Wellington has to offer and was the influence for my main. My entree was inspired by the current duck season and my dessert had an autumn feel with comfort food in mind.”

For Ray a significant motivational factor was the fact that two of his colleagues had previously won the much coveted title. Not one to be outdone, he took all his experience from previous competitions, working in industry and at WelTec to get the desired outcome. “I was pleasantly surprised with the win - but I wasn’t in it to come second. It’s about mental toughness in a way, there are five floor judges, six tasting judges, a kitchen full of competitors and the general public all right there watching every move. Concentration and focus is everything, you’re battling the stove - if one thing burns its game over.”

Pleased to have the opportunity to put his skills to the test, Ray was also thrilled to compete at the Culinary Fare along with his students. “The support of the tutors both for myself and the students was phenomenal. I’m really proud of my students. All of the backing from the WelTec team made sure we all succeeded. This is the first time we’ve taken out the two top honours and we are looking to add Torque d’Or at the National Culinary Fare to the list.”

ENDS

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