12 teams from around NZ have already signed up to compete in the 2011 Nestle Toque d`Or cooking competition, coming up in July.

Teams from 12 tertiary establishments across the country have already signed up to compete in this year’s Nestlé Toque d’Or.
 
Event organiser Pip Duncan said the event which is the country’s premier student culinary and restaurant service competition always attracts widespread interest and this year is no exception.
 
Those to have signed up for the 2011 event include: Aoraki Polytechnic – Timaru; Auckland University of Technology; Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology; Eastern Institute of Technology – Hawkes Bay; Manukau Institute of Technology; New Zealand Defence Force Joint Services Catering School – Waiouru; The Culinary Institute of New Zealand – Kerikeri; NorthTec – Whangarei; Universal College Of Learning (UCOL) Palmerston North; Wellington Institute of Technology; Waiariki Institute of Technology – Rotorua; and the New Zealand School of Culinary Arts at the Practical Education Institute – New Plymouth.
 
“Teams will comprise two culinary students and one restaurant service student,” Pip said.
 
“Students will be hand-picked by tutors to ensure that they best represent their respective establishments at the event.  They’ll be expected to go head-to-head in a live kitchen cook off to produce six covers of a three-course meal in just two-and-a-half-hours.
 
“This is serious stuff with the event serving as a potential springboard for the future development of competitors’ careers.  As with any live cook off, there’s no room for error and only the best and brightest will succeed.”
 
This year’s 16-strong panel of judges will again be headed up by SKYCITY Director of Kitchens Mark Wylie.
 
“Students will be scored across a number of areas including food preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste and service of food.  They must also meet strict time deadlines for delivery of each course and must develop their own unique menus using predetermined ingredients including: Nestlé Professional products, Akaroa Salmon and Zealfresh Beef,” Pip said.
 
Last year, Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology picked up the top spot in the competition for the thirteenth time in the competition’s 20 year history.
 
An award aimed at recognising recipe innovation by competing teams is also on offer.
 
“This is presented to the training establishment that best demonstrates innovation using Nestlé Professional products across their menu or in a particular dish.”
 
Last year, UCOL Palmerston North took home this top honour after impressing the judges with their contemporary use and unusual application of products provided to them.
 
This year’s Nestlé Toque d’Or competition will be held at the ASB Auckland Showgrounds in Greenlane in Auckland on Monday 18 July 2011.
 
Sponsors of this year’s event include: Nestlé Professional, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, vegetables.co.nz, Akaroa Salmon and The House of Knives.

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