The first regional winner of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) is Wellington’s Porirua College.
Michala Rei and Wiki Mackey cooked their way to success with an entree of Beetroot Gelee with chevre, orange and walnut salad and spiced beetroot and orange, followed by a main course of Stuffed Chicken Supreme and Madira jus, with Dauphinoise potatoes, buttered carrots and brocolini.
Under the guidance of their teacher Vanya Gunson the girls created a winning menu that delighted the judges. The entree had to include fresh New Zealand beetroot as a key ingredient, and for the main dish ingredients had to include chicken and three vegetables, one being a potato.
The young chefs had also been mentored by Sonya Martin, a chef tutor at Whitireia Polytech.
“The competition was tough and all competitors did an amazing job in the 90 minutes they had to cook and plate up their dishes,” NSSCC event organiser, Glenn Fulcher from City & Guilds said.
The judges were also impressed, commenting about the winning dishes: “Great knife skills, good seasoning. The entrée was very nice and refreshing, the main course chicken was very moist, and nicely cooked. The potato was delicious! Overall very good team-work throughout the event and plate up, with excellent communication.”
The judges were:
• Scott Campbell – Head Judge, Weltec Tutor
• Chetan Pangam – NZ Chefs president Wellington, Executive Chef at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
• Konard Steigerwolf – Bidvest
• Frank Prsuanotz – Weltec Tutor
Wellington High School, St Patrick’s College Silverstream and Wainuiomata High School also competed in the event. The next regional event is in Hawkes Bay on Sunday, May 24.