Trio of Timaru Ara students take medals from Auckland hospitality comp
A trio of Ara Institute of Canterbury Timaru hospitality students have won medals at a prestigious Auckland competition.
Denice Marayag, 22, a Level 5 cookery and patisserie student, and Ed Obillo, 22, a Level 5 cookery student, and server Torun Williams, 17, a Level 3 food and beverage student, ompeted as a team in the Nestle Toque D'Or on Thursday night.
Marayag and Obillo had to put together a three-course meal under strict time constraints, which Williams then tabled.
Marayag said the team won second runner-up overall; Williams got a bronze for her front of house efforts, and Marayag and Obillo gained gold medals for their work in the kitchen.
"We are very happy. We were stressed and excited, optimistic. We wanted to make people proud because there were heaps of people from our school and the Christchurch campus supporting us here," Marayag said.
"We don't want to let them down but we think they are happy with our performance yesterday," she said.
Medals were awarded for points earned. Only two of the 10 teams taking part from tertiary institutes all over New Zealand earned enough points to gain gold medals - Ara and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Rotorua.
Ara lost out narrowly to Toi Ohomai Institute, the overall winners.
Marayag said she and Obillo earned points for the food they served, their dedication to health and safety, their logical work processes and communication with their front of house team-mate.
Williams was the youngest server in the competition, the only server who did not have any industry experience, and was the only Level 3 student competing, Marayag said.
"All her competitors were Level 5 ... I think she did well."
Marayag said she and Obillo had five weeks to put together their menu, and just 10 full run-throughs in the Ara kitchen before heading away for competition.
Ara tutor Steve Le Corre was proud of how the team performed - "they went very well".
On Sunday night, Timaru Level 5 diploma in cooking student Joelle Snook, 20, was returning to the competition for the second time to try to take out National Commis Chef of the Year again.
Snook won the award the first time she entered in 2015.