The 20th annual New Zealand Culinary Fare proved to be the perfect platform for students from New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA) to showcase their skills.
Held at the ASB Showgrounds from August 19 – 21, the fare attracted more than a thousand competitors from all over New Zealand and abroad, battling it out for medals across a range of hospitality classes. The prestigious event is the biggest culinary competition of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting around 6000 spectators each year.
But NZMA students didn’t let the crowds, or the pressure get to them. They were up there with the best, bringing home a huge haul of 45 medals across NZMA’s three academies in Auckland Central, Auckland South and Waikato. The students are all studying hospitality at NZMA and had undergone weeks of intensive training for the event. Some of them had also competed in the earlier regional culinary fares in Auckland and Hamilton, to help prepare themselves.
After winning gold in the Auckland regionals for his classic cocktail, Shota Tsujimura came home from the nationals with two bronze medals – one in Classic Cocktails and the other in Original/Innovative Cocktails.
“I was pleased with my result. The national competition was definitely harder than the regionals. The judges were much stricter and asked more difficult and detailed questions,” says Shota.
“It was an experience I will never forget though. The regional and national culinary fares were the first competitions I have ever entered as an individual. It was a great opportunity to develop myself and I think it will be a good experience as far as my career goes. Being able to compete in these competitions is definitely one of the highlights of studying at NZMA for me.”
The fantastic results wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and effort of the handful of NZMA hospitality tutors who were selected to train students up for the event. In addition to their regular teaching schedule, these tutors spent hours each week fine tuning their students’ skills for the barista, wine and beverage service, table setting and cocktail competitions.
Associate Academy Manager for NZMA Auckland South, Mahara Honey, was one of the competition trainers and was thrilled with the results.
“The Culinary Fare provided an excellent opportunity for our students to test their skills against others in the industry. The students were a credit to NZMA, conducting themselves professionally at all times, and their personal presentation was of the highest standard. We are extremely proud of them all,” says Mahara.
The students are judged by the best in the business so it is a great way for them to see how their knowledge and skills really stack up. In addition, the awards are industry recognised, so a good result at the culinary fare can potentially improve the employment chances of participants.
NZMA’s Waikato Academy brought home five bronze medals, while NZMA Auckland South earned three silvers and seven bronze medals. Students from NZMA Auckland Central came away with 15 silver and 15 bronze medals across their events.
“This is a fantastic achievement and testimony to much hard work and preparation from both the students and their tutors. It is a good reflection of the quality of the teaching and learning at NZMA,” says Mahara.
Auckland Central Academy Results:
Table Setting and Crumbing Down
Ruth Flores (Silver), Lee Strydom (Silver), Daniel Matheson (Silver), Mutsuko Morisue (Silver) Akshaya Khoda (Silver), Jacques Grobler (Bronze)
Wine and Beverage Service
Jacques Grobler (Silver), Mutsuko Morisue (Silver), Daniel Matheson (Bronze)
Ruth Holden (Silver), Piata Holloway (Silver), Moana Holloway (Silver), Jenna Bringans (Silver), Eddie Chae (Silver), Mavaega Okay (Silver), Jian Ming Lin (Louis) (Silver), Verun Parashar (Bronze)
Denis Antcupov (Silver), Hakan Kasapoglu (Silver), Mayu Susuki (Bronze), Eui Su (Erica) Kim (Bronze), Yukina Saito (Bronze) Qiu Yinglan Arena (Bronze), Shota Tsujimura (Bronze), Qiong Yuan Huang Hebe (Bronze), Hong Yang Yoyo (Bronze), Daniel Matheson (Bronze)
Jaspreet Singh (Bronze), Denis Antcupov (Bronze), Shota Tsujimura (Bronze)
Auckland South Academy Results:
Cafe Beverages Training
Hetta Sila (Bronze), Grand Grand (Bronze), Manea Morehu-Burns (Bronze).
Adelaide Waitai (Silver), Junita Young (Bronze)
Classic Cocktail Training
Maria Hill (Bronze), Peter Evans (Bronze)
Waikato Academy Results:
Krysta Scott (Bronze)
Jordane King (Bronze)
Krysta Scott (Bronze)
Jordane King (Bronze)
Rachael Arlidge (Bronze)