Budding chefs regional winners

Spotswood College now has a bigger fish to fry after winning a secondary schools cook-off yesterday.

Shardae McGovern and Bree Paton-Courtney, both 16, were the regional winners of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge, and will now compete for national recognition at the finals in Auckland on September 12.

The culinary challenge was held as part of the Taranaki/Whanganui Hospitality Competition, and the day-long event also had individuals testing their hospitality skills for various titles.

The girls told the Taranaki Daily News they were "very proud, excited and happy" to have won the competition.

"I'm now scared for the nationals," Shardae said.

The girls were given 90 minutes to prepare an entree and a main dish. They finished with two minutes on the clock to spare.

Bree said the girls prayed before they went in.

"Thought it would give us a boost," Shardae said.

Having to prepare their meals within the required timeframe was very stressful, the girls said.

It was Spotswood's first year entering the event and the win only made the experience sweeter.

Hospitality teacher Simon Houghton said he was "massively proud" of Bree and Shardae.

Spotswood was awarded a $500 voucher to train for the nationals and each student also received a chef's jacket to wear on the big day. Travel assistance to Auckland along with 20 white plates topped off the prize package. Hawera High, New Plymouth Boys' and Waitara were the other teams to compete in the culinary challenge. Results Chelsea Food Service Glazed Fruit Flan: Violet Foster, Witt. Fonterra Savoury Cheese Muffins: Telina Barrett, Waitara High School. Vetro Taranaki Creative Cupcake: Naomi Murachi, Witt. Pasta Vera Pasta Main: Naomi Murachi, Witt. Regal Salmon Main: Violet Foster, Witt. Verkerks Café Breakfast: Jacob Radford, Inglewood High School. Meadow Mushrooms Mushroom Omelette: Aniruddha Desai, Witt. Bidvest Signature Main: Ashwin Rane, Witt. City and Guilds Secondary Schools Team Challenge: Bree Paton-Courtney and Shardae McGovern, Spotswood College. Natural Fare Commis Chef of the Year: Samuel Stevens, Witt. La Nuova Table Setting: Bailey Jane Butler, New Plymouth Girls' High School. La Nuova Original/Innovative Table Setting: Resha Bhana, Hawera High School. Southern Hospitality Original/Innovative Mocktail: Anna Roguski, New Plymouth Girls' High School. Southern Hospitality Original/Innovative Cocktail - Training: Harrison Martin-Wall, Witt. Our Place/The Hour Glass Original/Innovative Cocktail - Open: Nico Refiti, Snug Lounge. Escape Coffee Roasters Barista - Training: Nerys Whelan, Witt. Nice Hotel & Table Service Professional of the Year: Alana Mayo, Elixir.

Taranaki Daily News