Cromwell students face biggest test cooking for Chelsea Winter

Cromwell College home economics students enjoy a celebrity afternoon tea with Chelsea Winter. From left, teacher Tineke ...
Jill Herron

Cromwell College home economics students enjoy a celebrity afternoon tea with Chelsea Winter. From left, teacher Tineke Hayes with Year 11 students Carwen Williams and Ann Marie Sanders, author and chef Chelsea Winter and Year 12 students Dayna Smith and Emma Gardner.

The pressure was on Cromwell students who baked Chelsea Winter recipes from her own books during a book promotion tour.

A group of Cromwell College home economics students donned their uniforms, despite it being school holidays, to spend the day baking cakes and biscuits for Chelsea, from recipes in her five cookbooks during her book promotion tour last week.

The Year 7 to 12 students gained inspiration from Winter's culinary success story, which was sparked by winning the third season of TVNZ's Masterchef contest in 2012.

Winter said the school experience was "the best and nicest thing I've done" on her tour.

"I learnt to cook with Mum, who did everything from scratch, and from Alison Holst books. When I was 25 I had an office job in Auckland and my husband suggested I audition for the show."

At the last minute she "chickened out", believing she was not good enough, but got up the courage the following year, she said.

"I was in a house in Auckland with 15 others for three months and learnt a lot as the show progressed. I studied books every evening and by the end of the show I was a 10 times better cook. I'm not sure I'd want to do it all again, it was pretty stressful. "

Winning came with a book deal and At My Table was followed by four more books, the latest, eat having a slight Italian influence due to regular trips there leading group foodie tours.

"It's such easy and tasty food… those Italians really know what they are doing."

Chelsea said she was impressed by the Cromwell student's skills and was grateful for the special invitation.

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Home economics teacher Tineke Hayes said the 14 students had been excited to meet Winter and had had no hesitation about heading into school during the holidays to bake for her.

 - Stuff

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