Podium finish for young chefs

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SOUTHLAND’S aspiring chefs held their own at a national cooking competition two weeks ago.
The Southland Boys’ High School (SBHS) culinary team of Caleb Dawson, Finley Hay, Jordan Crosbie, Lance Aya and E-lejah Russell and Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) trainee chef Toni Gorton all returned home from the NZChefs National Salon Culinary Competitions 2016 in Auckland with medals.
Ms Gorton qualified to attend the nationals following success at a regional competition held in Cromwell in May.
She competed against 12 other trainee chefs at the national competition, impressing judges with her salmon with chickpea, feta, farro, tomato and rocket salad, and an upside-down pineapple cake with poached tamarillo. The dishes won her silver in both the New Zealand Comi Chef of the Year live salmon and live dessert classes.
SIT’s School of Hospitality program manager Glenn Stridiron said it was an excellent result and demonstrated the calibre of her cooking.
The competition was a great opportunity for trainee chefs to test themselves among their peers, and also represented an excellent chance to showcase in front of potential employers, he said.
The SBHS team competed in the secondary school classes, winning one gold, seven silver and four bronze medals.
Catering and hospitality teacher Scott Richardson said the team — the only school competing south of New Plymouth — performed well.
‘‘My personal goal for them [was] to at least get a medal in each class they entered as they put in long hours of training and fundraising to get to Auckland.’’
Caleb and Jordan were now training for the International Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge being held in Australia in October, he said.

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