Heat’s On for Salon Culinaire

25 June 2015

Heat’s On for Salon Culinaire

More than 100 hopeful young chefs sweated it out in the NorthTec kitchens when they took part in this year’s Northland Salon Culinaire contest.

The Apprentice Restaurant at the Raumanga campus was a hive of activity all day, as the contestants from NorthTec hospitality, NorthTec Trades Academy, The Culinary Institute of New Zealand, Whangarei Girls High and Kerikeri High School battled for supremacy.

Dishes produced during the day ranged from a salmon-based main meal to a high tea and a café-style breakfast.

NorthTec’s Delwyn Mohi was delighted to be crowned Northland’s Commis Chef of the Year in a very close-run competition against two of her classmates.

Fellow student Kayla Tukaki won a gold medal for her hot main meal presented cold – the first time a gold has been awarded in that category, while  Rachel Tribble also took home a gold medal in the live desserts category. All three are students on the New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (level 4) programme.

The Kerikeri High School team triumphed in the City and Guilds Secondary School Challenge, pipping at the post the two teams from the NorthTec Trades Academy. The winners will go on to represent Northland at the City and Guilds national final, to be held in September at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

NorthTec tutor and event organiser, Hughie Blues, said: “It was a very busy day and it was a long haul from the start at 7am to the prizegiving at 6pm. It’s a lot of hard work but we were well supported by industry personnel and the students really embraced it.

“Anita Sarginson, the chief judge from Wellington, comments every year that at the Northland event in particular, whānau play such a big part and really support their young people.”

The Northland Salon Culinaire competition is run by Northland Chefs, the local branch of the New Zealand Chefs Association. This is the ninth year the event has been hosted at NorthTec.

Ten judges taste and mark foods throughout the day, and the classes range from individual contests for secondary school students or industry trainees, to the Magic Box Team Event, where teams must come up with a culinary creation based on the foods they are given.

Contestants take part in “static” events, in which the food can be prepared in advance, and “live” events, in which all competitors cook against the clock to compete a set task.

There were 106 young competitors at this year’s event, with more than 40 coming from NorthTec’s hospitality programmes. The NorthTec Trades Academy is made up of secondary school students who attend classes at NorthTec once a week, gaining credits towards tertiary qualifications while they are still at school.

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