College Chefs win Silver

July 16, 2015 at 2:35 PM

sam me and judge.JPGTwo of our College students, Alex Southwick (Year 12) and Sam Keyte (Year 11) have been named as two of the best secondary school chefs in Auckland after transforming ‘humble kiwi’ ingredients into delicious dishes reminiscent of a fine-dining experience. The talented pair placed second in the Auckland round of the City & Guilds National Secondary School Culinary Competition held at Manukau Institute of Technology during the school holidays.

The MasterChef style competition saw students from a number of Auckland secondary schools competing to create well designed meals to present to a judging panel. Each team had to prepare, cook and present four portions of an entrée and main course within 90 nerve-wracking minutes.

Beetroot was the compulsory principal component of the entrée, while the main course had to include potato as well as two other fresh New Zealand grown vegetables alongside a chicken breast.

Alex and Sam had spent eight weeks designing, trialling and perfecting their mouth-watering meal.

For entrée they served a vibrant beetroot spelt risotto with goat cheese and fennel. This was followed by a sumptuous French-roasted chicken breast accompanied by pancetta lardons, brussels sprouts, kumara puree, potato rosti and roasted cherry tomatoes. The dishes were judged by industry chefs taking the following criteria into consideration: uniformity, technical ability, mise en place, timing, temperature, plating, taste and balance of flavours.

Alex and Sam prepared some fantastic meals but narrowly missed out on a spot in the national final after taking second place in the Auckland region behind eventual winners, Onehunga High School. The winning teams from each of the 10 regional rounds progress to a national competition in August with the national winner going on to represent New Zealand at the International Secondary Schools Culinary Competition held in Tahiti in October!

This was Alex’s second time competing under the watchful scrutiny of professional culinary judges after he and Rebecca Roberts claimed the runner-up prize in 2014.

The competition was founded in 2013 by City & Guilds to help grow hospitality talent and showcase the career opportunities within the industry. More about this annual competition can be read on their Facebook page:

Food Technology at the College

The College has superb, industry-standard facilities for teaching Food Technology in the Jack Paine Art and Technology Centre. NCEA Levels 1-3 Food Technology is a demanding course structured to scaffold the learning and pressures that students can expect to experience during tertiary study. In Levels 1 and 2, students work with a food technologist to develop innovative new products that are fit for purpose as a result of extensive sensory analysis, market, consumer and technical research. During their final year, students synthesise their knowledge of food design and development in order to engage with an actual client. They are expected to solve problems with critical and original thinking, leaving the course with an extensive portfolio and basic industrial experience.

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