A hunger for competition has seen Taranaki chef Troyden Waters reach new heights.
The 23-year-old Waitara man has just got back from the Welsh International Culinary Championships where he picked up two silver medals with the New Zealand Youth Culinary Team.
Mr Waters, who was appointed head chef at Waiau Estate a few days ago, said he was a keen sportsman but did not have time to play sport since becoming a chef. "I used to play a lot of sport and so doing competitions feeds that competitive edge."
He trained at the Practical Education Institute in New Plymouth and then went on to work at Okurukuru Winery, where he started as a kitchen hand and worked his way up to head chef.
During that time he was competing in Taranaki/Whanganui hospitality competitions, winning three years in a row.
He was also part of the New Zealand culinary team that beat Australia to win a gold medal at the Gourmet Pacific Challenge in Auckland last year.
Mr Waters said his ability to work under pressure and keep a clean and tidy work station were his strengths.
He said he also knew how to make his dishes "run well". "It's got to tell a story the whole way through the dish."
Mr Waters also competed in the Hans Bueschkens Young Chefs Challenge Pacific Rim competition.
A good performance in that saw him selected in the New Zealand Youth Culinary Team, which went on to compete in Wales, where he came second in the Welsh beef division and second in the mystery box team event.
"We were chuffed with that."
The trip was funded by the New Zealand Chefs Association and Mr Waters received a $1500 grant from the TSB Community Trust.
From here he hopes to win the Taranaki/Whanganui hospitality competition for a fourth year running. There is also a competition coming up in Singapore he hopes to take part in with the New Zealand youth team.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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