Amateurs' taste of the big time
Amateur chefs had a chance to showcase their masterchef skillsNATASHA VAN DER LAAN
There were tears in the kitchen at the Waikato Culinary Fare recently, and it wasn't just the onions.
Amateur chefs had a chance to showcase their masterchef skills at the two-day event at Wintec's centre for hospitality.
In its eighth year, the event attracted 280 secondary school students and training chefs as they showed off their kitchen and restaurant skills.
Fare director Paul Hodge said the event is a stepping stone for people wanting to enter the hospitality trade.
"It gives them some experience and knowledge around what the trade is about and where their future could be. It gives them a chance to compete in a local competition prior to going to the national show which would be more intense."
However the event isn't without emotions.
"You'll see a lot of kids crying because they haven't done well or they've done very well," he said.
Mr Hodge said the event shows an increasing interest in hospitality.
"Particularly people are very creative and innovative around their food service."
Eighteen-year-old Laura Settle, 18, from Bay of Plenty Polytechnic competed in the junior lamb dish class with the task of making four plates of a main lamb dish in one hour.
Her course required students to audition before joining their institutes team of four.
"It was advertised to us as a bit of a challenge. A bit of a prestigious thing to do."
She is passionate about hospitality and aspires to be a pastry chef in Europe or Australia.
"I've always been around food, playing with food, baking in the kitchen."
Military steward from Linton Army Camp JD Teture was competing for the first time. Leading up to the competition he spent full days in training.
"The work leading up to it is pretty intense – mentally and physically."
Mr Teture competed in four classes including the classic and innovative cocktail competition.
He remained calm under pressure as he produced a classic cosmopolitan cocktail and his original "Caribbean cross" – a cocktail mixing apple sourz with vodka.
Mr Hodge said while the event has a "local focus for local people" many students go on to compete in the national culinary fare.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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