Winning regional duos from ten secondary schools around the country put their skills to test at the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge Final as they created four servings of both an entrée and main course, within 90-minutes. To add to the challenge locally grown beetroot had to feature in the entrée, with chicken, potatoes and seasonal New Zealand grown vegetables key ingredients of the main dish.
After a grueling 90-minutes of cooking, Burnside High School’s Clize and Miku were awarded top honours from the judges for their two dishes. Their entrée was a golden beetroot fritter with baby Chioggia and red sauté, goat’s cheese and beetroot chips accompanied by a rich beetroot sauce. And for a main, chicken breast filled with semi-dried tomato and preserved lemon on a crumbed parmesan potato cake with petite sausage, char-roasted seasonal vegetables with jus and tomato butter sauce.
The duos were scored across a number of criteria including food preparation, food safety, timing, sustainable cooking practice, including minimisation of food waste, presentation, taste and the use of New Zealand grown seasonal vegetables, potatoes and chicken.
“The winning entries are truly restaurant-quality and for all competitors the event opens very real career pathways into the hospitality industry,” said NZChicken executive director Michael Brooks. NZ Chicken is a major co-sponsor of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge.
The winning duo each received a $2000 study scholarship and a trip to Tahiti to represent New Zealand at the International Secondary Schools Competition ISSCC in October. Their school receives a $1000 Bidvest voucher and a Blue Seal turbofan oven and stand from Moffat New Zealand.