Chefs to defend NZ title

00:13, Feb 18 2013
Darren Wright

Cooking can be stressful, but even more so when the NZ silver fern is on your chest.

Two Christchurch men - Darren Wright and Zane Nuestroski - are taking on some of the world's best chefs in Wales this week.

The pair left on Friday with the New Zealand Culinary Team to defend the Tri Nations title they won at the same Welsh venue in 2010.

Mr Wright, a seven-year veteran of the team, has just opened his new Chillingworth Road restaurant in Cranford St, which has proven to be the ideal training ground.

A New Zealand Beef and Lamb ambassador and chief judge of the prestigious Nestle Toque d'Or competition, Mr Wright has won gold medals all over the world, but he said that the event is still "extremely stressful" on the day.

"It's a real honour and privilege to represent your country. There's definitely a lot of nerves before you get going. I guess it's our equivalent of the All Blacks running out before a big game."

At the other end of the spectrum, George Hotel employee, Mr Nuestroski is the development member of the squad and takes only a limited part in the competition.

National president of the New Zealand Chefs Association, Anita Sarginson, said that the tournament is a massive opportunity for Nuestroski.

"It's an enormous step forward for Zane. He's got the chance to mix with some of the best around the world and he is one of those young men that takes everything in.

"He will definitely be one to watch in the future."

The Tri Nations format is known as "hot kitchen".

Each team is placed in a ballot for dish type and competition day. Only one team competes on each day of the three day event.

The Kiwis have drawn day one and received beef as their principle ingredient.


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