Aoraki students excel in cooking contest

22:53, Aug 20 2014
timaru aoraki cook nestle toque d'or competition benjamin simpson vili jagroop james verey
NO PRESSURE: Three Aoraki Polytechnic culinary students Benjamin Simpson, from left, Vili Jagroop and James Verey took out silver medals at the Nestle Toque d'Or competition in Auckland.

Three Aoraki Polytechnic students have proved they can handle the heat in the kitchen, winning silver at the prestigious 2014 Nestl Toque d'Or competition held on Monday.

Culinary students Benjamin Simpson and James Verey went head-to-head with hospitality students from around the country to win silver medals at the event in Auckland.

Restaurant service student Vili Jagroop, who formed part of the competing team, also picked up a silver medal.

Simpson and Verey battled it out for over three hours against 11 other teams from around the country to create their medal- winning three-course menu, which was served to guests by Jagroop.

Throughout the live kitchen cook-off, the pressure was intense as the team fought against the clock, under the ever-present gaze of a team of industry judges.

Teams were marked against World Chefs Societies international judging standards, which include food preparation, presentation, taste and service.


Event organiser and New Zealand Chefs Association ambassador Anita Sarginson said it was an exciting and fast-paced event to be involved in.

"It challenges competitors to achieve great things under tight time constraints and while they are being watched by judges and members of the public," Sarginson said.

"The event provides a great opportunity for young up-and-coming students to showcase their abilities and demonstrate their skills in front of some of the country's most highly-regarded culinary professionals."

This was the 24th year of New Zealand's longest-running and most prestigious student cookery and food service event.

The Timaru Herald