Chefs Impress

Chefs Impress - Recent News - Te Awamutu College

The heat was on at the biggest culinary competition in New Zealand when 500 secondary and tertiary students took over Wintec’s Centre for Hospitality kitchens during the 2018 Waikato Culinary Fare. Te Awamutu College hospitality students impressed judges, with one Year 13 student, Morgan McKenzie, winning the Waikato section of the National Secondary Culinary Challenge.

The challenge was to present an entree using tomato as the ‘hero’ of the dish. Morgan made leek pancetta and semidried tomato tortellini served on a creamy basil tomato sauce with a parmesan wafer and basil emulsion.

Wintec Centre for Hospitality team manager Peter Radojkovich says the challenge is an opportunity for young chefs to experience friendly competition under pressure. He says the standard of work from students this year impressed the judges. “This is a credit to the teachers who spend hours training and supporting their students to achieve in this competition.”

The event, in its 14th year, promotes cooking as a career and aims to nurture young talent by providing a culinary competition platform for secondary school and tertiary students. This year it attracted students from Wintec, Toi Ohomai and New Zealand Management Academies as well as students from 25 secondary schools.

As Morgan McKenzie won the Waikato section of the National Secondary Culinary Challenge, she qualified to compete at the New Zealand National Secondary School Culinary Challenge in Auckland on Tuesday, September 4. She took a partner and chose to work with Year 12 student Sam Ashmore, who won gold for her chicken dish. They won a silver award.

Hospitality teacher Maree Letford is proud of the students and says the competition in Auckland was fierce. “The students need to show attitude and a hunger to win,” she says.

“There were a lot of extra hours put in to ensure the team was well organised and methodical to put up well-presented and great tasting dishes to get the judges’ attention on the day.”
Te Awamutu College students’ results from the 2018 Waikato Culinary Fare:

- Savoury pie: Annmarie Bramsen, Katie Schwitzer, bronze
- Cold dessert: Morgan McKenzie, bronze
- Cafe´ cake: Morgan McKenzie, Amelia Clayton, bronze
- Mystery box: Laurissa Venter and Charlotte Kersten, Silver; Astra Brill and Ellen Beetson, bronze
- Creative savoury pizza: Laurissa Venter, silver
- Creative burger: Chloe Steel, silver; Kurt Pinny, merit
- Salmon dish: Ellen Beetson, merit - Barista: Astra Brill, Morgan McKenzie, Ellen Beetson, Katie Schwitzer, Edan Reilly and Cheyenne Murray, all won silver
- Chicken dish: Sam Ashmore, gold - NSSCC Regional Event: Morgan McKenzie, gold; Amelia Clayton, silver; Laurissa Venter, bronze.
- NSSCC Regional Event: Morgan McKenzie, gold, Amelia Clayton, silver, Laurissa Venter,
bronze

Article (adapted) and photo courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier – 9 August 2018

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