UCOL will receive a generous slice of the action in Palmerston North at this weekend’s Olympics Feast and work alongside some of New Zealand’s top cooks.
A team of chefs has been selected to compete in next year's Culinary Olympics in Germany. As part of their preparation and build up, the Fonterra-sponsored NZChefs team are cooking at a series of events and dinners around the country.
UCOL's Chef Tutors have been invited by the NZ Chefs Association to design and prepare a cheese course to complement the four course menu, and on Saturday their Grey Street training kitchens will be used by the NZChefs team as prep space.
"We are really looking forward to seeing the NZChefs team in action and being a part of the whole event," says UCOL Chef Tutor Mark Smith.
Mark and his colleagues' contribution to the five course dinner is a Smoked Havarti Tart with beetroot macaroons and a citrus feta cream. The other four courses that will be prepared by the Olympic team feature Tiger Prawns, Salmon Fillet, Venison Loin, and Vanilla Parfait. The dishes were chosen through a process of collaboration and it is expected they will evolve with each Olympic Feast event.
The NZChefs team includes a mix of experienced competition chefs with some exciting new talent, including Corey Hume of Blanket Bay (Queenstown), Darren Wright of Chillingworth Road (Christchurch), William Mordido of Chiko's (Auckland), Mark Sycamore of Tequila Mockingbird (Christchurch), Richard Hingston, Casino (Christchurch) and Ken O'Connell of Bracken Restaurant, and Blake Haines (Dunedin).
Whanganui UCOL Chef Tutor and Vice President of the Central Branch of the NZChefs Association Damian Peeti says discerning diners are in for a real treat. "To have chefs of this calibre all working together in one kitchen, let alone a UCOL kitchen, is very exciting. We were delighted to be invited to participate and bring the Culinary Olympics team to town."
Palmerston North is the first region outside Auckland to host the Olympics Feast and the dinner will take place at the Awapuni Function Centre this Sunday from 7.00pm.
Tickets are $145 per person or $1050 per table of eight. They can be ordered at www.nzchefs.org.nz/shop or by contacting Damian Peeti on 027 506 3341.