Aspiring hospitality students from local secondary schools are coming together as part of the UCOL Secondary School Hospitality Competition to put their skills to the test. This competition allows them a chance to showcase their talents and creative skills.

From cupcakes presented in style as part of a static display, through to a live kitchen class where a pasta dish of their choice are prepared and cooked in just 60 minutes, it promises to put our upcoming foodies to the test.

Those wanting to test their beverage skills can accept the challenge of coming up and producing two original and innovative mocktails in just 15 minutes, or showcase their barista skills.

“This is an event I look forward to every time it rolls around, it provides such a unique opportunity,” said UCOL Hospitality and Chef Programme Leader Ian Drew. “It’s a great way to test if this is the future career, the students that take part in this competition get to experience industry standard judging cooking in a commercial environment. It’s a great way to be creative, have fun and challenge themselves.”

Competitions will be held in August across three locations (Whanganui 17 August, Palmerston North 24 August and Wairarapa 30 August).

Ian’s advice for those wanting to sign-up: “We wish everyone well and recognise that it is a brave thing you do – to put yourself ‘out there’ in competition. Our sincere ‘thanks’ to the many coaches and supporters – without you this just could not happen. Above all give it a go, enter, and enjoy yourselves!”