THE New Zealand chefs team working towards the Culinary Olympics in Germany are close to completing their practices and fundraising. The event in Erfurt takes place from October 22-25, and the team leaves the day after its final presentation at Fonterra Foodservice headquarters on October 13.

This final presentation, one of many being staged this year to fundraise, is special thanks to Fonterra and other sponsors for their ongoing support. Practice presentations have been held around the country, and three more upcoming are June 26 in the Culinary Arena at Fine Food, Hawkes Bay on August 14 and at Te Papa in Wellington on September 15.

An additional activity will be the entire team cooking for the Nestle Foodservice annual Toque d’Or dinner at The Cloud in Auckland on July 29 during the National Salon. As an aside, photographs of the practice session have been banned in case the team’s activity was leaked to other international competitors.

Fonterra’s Grant Watson, Global Head of Foodservice, said the New Zealand team had phenomenal culinary talent, and it was truly time this was showcased to the world after not having competed in the event for 28 years.

Caption: Olympic team manager Neil MacInnes pictured with the seven-strong team of Corey Hume, Mark Sycamore, Ganesh Khedekar, Steve Le Corre, Darren Wright, Richard Hingston and John Kelleher.