Three talented young chefs from Taranaki, Fielding and Auckland won silver in this year`s Kapiti Cheese Experience, where the best and brightest of the hospitality industry compete for prestigious industry awards and prizes.

Taranaki-based Jamie Phillips produced the top score in the NZ Culinary Fare`s Kapiti Cheese Experience category, using Kapiti cheese`s Pamaro Parmesan in three different recipes. Eight chefs from around the country had just an hour to prepare a serving of cheese to be served as part of an eight-course degustation menu for four guests.

The national contest, which was held at Auckland`s ASB Showgrounds earlier this week, went down to the wire, with chefs racing their completed meals to the finishing line. Judging was tough, so only bronze and silver medals were awarded by the hard-to-please adjudicators.

“Entering these sorts of national contests is good for your own profile as a chef and it`s also good to represent the Taranaki,” said Jamie, who runs and owns New Plymouth`s Deli Star Catering. “It`s good to keep in touch with modern trends. You need to think about presenting a dish that`s unique and inject some passion into what you`re doing.”  

Fonterra Foodservices, which delivers high-quality brands such Kapiti, Mainland and Fresh and Fruity to the hospitality industry, sponsored the Kapiti Cheese Experience in the Culinary Fare. The Fare is made up of some 75 competitions on both the kitchen and restaurant sides of the hospitality industry.

“The Culinary Fare provides a wonderful opportunity to see the creative and inspiring dishes chefs can produce with our great Kapiti cheeses,” said Stephanie Hague, New Product Development Manager for Foodservice / Fonterra Brands. “Fonterra Foodservices is dedicated to supporting and developing culinary talent in New Zealand.” 

Mark Southon, a chef at Auckland`s award-winning French Café also won silver, as did the New Zealand Army`s Krystol McMillan, who is based in Fielding. Mark prepared a delicious Walnut Cannelloni, which was stuffed with Kahurangi Creamy Blue Cheese, apple and sherry.

“The whole idea was to prepare a dish that was part of a degustation menu, so it needed to be on the small side, but impressive, said UK-born Mark, who lives in the Auckland suburb of Parnell. “The cheese, sugar and walnuts work together fantastically well.” 

Jamie`s dish will be published on the Kapiti website

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