Young chefs’ time to shine

    Southern Institute of Technology students Chloe Bond and Howie Nguyan are nervous and excited to prepare a banquet for the community as part of The Pure South Famous Young Chefs Degustation Lunch in Invercargill on Sunday.

    MIX a bunch of young chefs with the South Island’s top cooks, season with Southland flavour and let them stir for a whole afternoon.

    The result of this recipe will be known this weekend when young chefs in training from Southland Boys’ High School and the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) prepare a banquet for the community.

    After a successful first edition of The Pure South Famous Young Chefs Degustation Lunch last year, the event returned to the region’s menu as part of the Southland food festival, Savour the South.

    Organised by the Southland branch of Hospitality New Zealand, with support from Great South, Savour the South includes events spread throughout April with the aim to shine a light on the region’s flavours and southern hospitality.

    Hospitality New Zealand Southland branch president and chef Graham Hawkes was excited for the event as it showcased the outstanding quality of local producers.

    He said the lunch with the young chefs on Sunday was one of the highlights for the community and people taking part.

    “It is about pathways for young chefs. It is a 100% hands-on experience and the young chefs can really learn from renowned chefs and all of them have represented New Zealand overseas.

    “So it is a great opportunity for them.”

    Chefs Ethan Flack, Joseph Clarke, Tony Smith, Steve Le Corre, Darren Wright and Daniel Reynolds would be overseeing the work of about 20 trainees to create a six-course degustation luncheon, including matching wines, for about 120 guests, he said.

    The menu would include canapes, lamb, beef and salmon dishes, and dessert.

    SIT food technician Chloe Bond said she was feeling a mix of emotions leading up to the big event.

    “There is a lot of pressure with what we want to showcase for the famous chefs out there, because we hope to one day be where they are, but we’ve been working hard for the last two years and I am excited to be able to show it off.”

    She believed the challenge would replicate what they proposed in a timely manner.

    Ms Bond and her colleague Howie Nguyan were hoping to see smiles after the banquet.

    “As long as the food goes out on time, well-presented and tasting good, we are good.

    “I’m sure it will be an invaluable experience for all of us.”

    • From culinary delights to local brew tastings there are opportunities to explore Savour the South until the end of the month.