Award-winning chef Darren Wright has managed to find time in his hectic schedule, that includes competing at this year’s Culinary Olympics in Germany, to take on the job of Chief Judge at the country’s top student culinary competition.

Wright said that Nestlé Toque d’Or is a highlight on the annual culinary calendar and being part of it was something he could not pass up.

“It’s an event that brings together the country’s top student culinary and restaurant service stars under one roof,” said Wright.

“For over three hours, they slug it out against each other in a live kitchen cook off that is both fast-paced and frenetic. The talent is raw and so too are their nerves as they compete to find out who will be crowned the country’s top emerging hospitality talents.”

Outside of work, he is busy preparing the NZChefs Olympic Squad for the upcoming IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany that take place in October this year.

“It’s been 28 years since representatives from New Zealand competed at the Culinary Olympics. We’ve been working hard on a range of ideas for a long time and are fully committed to bringing home gold.”

The 26th Nestlé Toque d’Or will be held on 29 July at the Auckland Showgrounds. An awards dinner will be held later in the evening where the winning team will be announced.