13 May 2019 – Around 1000 visitors from as far as Pukekohe enjoyed the annual TASTE event at NZMA Sylvia Park over the weekend. TASTE is an action-packed, vibrant and sugar-coated two-day hospitality and food extravaganza that showcases current NZMA student’s skills, and highlights the vocational career options open to students, and people considering a career change or upgrading their skills.
Over two days a number of activities took place including:
• NZMA pastry tutor Ganesh Khedekar, 2015 Masterchef dessert finalist judge, and current New Zealand National team Pastry chef, led his students through a dessert extravaganza, including the creation of a 6 foot French dessert croquembouche and multiple draw dropping chocolate sculptures;
• Pastry students continued to push the boundaries serving up delectable treats at the nitro bar like ice dragon balls, popping candy, nitro dots and cookies;
• Foods inspired from around the world, were available to taste and share, including sushi, American smoked meats, Maori and Pasifika specialities, Tapas and favourite Italian dishes;
• Visitors were able to hop on a blender bike to make fresh healthy smoothies;
• Coffee barista students highlighted their skills making the best brew!
• Watching how to carve the perfect roast, and set the table for a fine dining experience; and
• Creating fantastic flower arrangement to impress even the harshest critic!
Visiting school students were impressed and amazed watching NZMA students in action, and the creations they produced. Colleen Jacobsen from Pukekohe High School said, “On behalf of my staff and students, we would like to thank you for an amazing day at NZMA. The students could not stop talking about their experience. I met up with a parent today, who also expressed their thanks as their son, who was on the trip, came home and could not stop talking about their experience and seeing what your students presented. Your students were awesome.”
Encouraging students to create the best is NZMA Pastry tutor, Ganesh Khedekar, who is renowned for pushing the boundaries on desserts, and his students are loving the challenges he sets. He says, “These days we need to teach our students the on-trend skills so they can create masterpieces, to thrill and dazzle customers. I’m given a broad remit at NZMA to teach students the pastry fundamentals with a flourish…..this is what makes our graduates stand out from the rest!”
Ganesh added, “Taste NZMA aims to showcase but also inspire future students, with a passion for cooking. This is a free event, open to the public to visit us, and see what fantastic trades we have on offer here. It’s about seeing what job opportunities are available after doing a programme with NZMA.”
NZMA provides programmes across a range of industries including hospitality, cookery, business, retail, contact centre, trades, sports, early childhood education and health. Tutors and current students involved in hospitality, cookery and floristry programmes will be on site to showcase their skills.