Chance for chef to sizzle

Waters makes national culinary team

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
Troy Waters
CAMERON BURNELL/Fairfax NZ

ORDER'S UP: Waiau Estate chef Troy Waters is heading to Wales to compete in an international cooking competition.

waters stand
CAMERON BURNELL
Waiau Estate chef Troy Waters is off to Wales to compete in an international competition.

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A Taranaki chef is on his way to Wales to represent New Zealand in an international culinary competition next week.

Waiau Estate sous chef Troy Waters, 23, is the only Taranaki chef to be selected as part of the national culinary team who will travel to compete in the Welsh National Culinary Fair.

For the individual element of the competition, Mr Waters will have 45 minutes to cook two identical plates of food.

"We have to do a beef dish, with Welsh black beef, which they say is just like Angus."

He'll be pan-roasting the beef and serving it with confit potatoes, pea puree, a trio of coloured baby carrots, exotic mushrooms, pickled radish and a red wine jus.

"We only have 45 minutes so I have to keep it simple."

He said he had tested the dish four or five times already and had cooked it for judges in Christchurch when the NZ team met for a run-through last week.

"The only thing he said was that I had to change my sauce, I think his exact words were ‘my 5-year-old daughter could make this sauce'."

So Mr Waters swapped the shaved truffle cream sauce for the red wine jus.

For the team event, the chefs will have half an hour to decide on and submit a menu from a mystery box of ingredients and then will have to cook the three course meal.

Mr Waters is not new to cooking competitions, having won the top spot in several over the last six years.

He started his cooking career at age 16 as a kitchen hand at Okurukuru Winery before moving up the ranks and working as head chef there for a year.

The trip to Wales would be Mr Waters' first journey overseas, and he hoped to get some sightseeing done during the all-expenses-paid two-week trip.

"There'll be a few beers involved too I imagine."

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