The heat was on for a group of NZMA students who have just competed against some of the region’s best hospitality students and juniors, at the annual Waikato Culinary Fare.
Held at Wintec’s Centre for Hospitality on June 28 and 29, the Fare is designed to create a friendly competition for secondary school students and junior hospitality people who are passionate about the industry. It’s a great platform for those keen to display their skills, innovation and creativity, and is also a stepping stone to the prestigious New Zealand Culinary Fare which takes place in Auckland in August.
Five hospitality students from NZMA Waikato competed, with top achiever Krysta Scott taking home two bronze medals – one for her stunning citrus tart in the Cold Dessert – Static Display category, and the other for her carrot cake in the Café Cake – Static Display competition. Krysta also gained merit in her cocktail events.
Also in cocktails, Rachael Aldridge impressed judges, and received a bronze medal, for her innovative Jim Jam cocktail which was a tasty mix of Jim Beam, Chambord, crème de cassis and Frangelico, topped up with Sprite. She also did a great job on her classic cocktail, the Grasshopper.
The academy’s fourth bronze medal of the weekend went to Hannah Arlidge in the Cold Dessert – Static Display category, for her mouth-watering cheesecake mousse. Hannah also received merit in the Table Setting event, in which competitors had 45 minutes to set a table for four people, with four different napkin folds and a floral display. Isobel Wilson was awarded merit in the same event.
Leslie Kairau also competed, but unfortunately cut his finger badly during the cocktail competition and had to withdraw from the event.
NZMA Waikato hospitality tutor Lisanne Baukema said the Fare provided a great opportunity for her students to gain confidence and industry exposure.
“All in all I was very, very proud of them, especially as they were competing against three or four other polytechnics so competition was tough. They all trained hard and performed well on the day. We are really pleased with their results,” says Lisanne.