Aspiring chefs and bakers from five secondary schools will be putting their skills to the test in a competition at UCOL.
Students from Palmerston North Girls’ High School, Palmerston North Boys’ High School, Whanganui Girls’ College, Freyberg High School, and Tararua College will compete in the UCOL Secondary Schools Hospitality Competition on Monday 12 June.
UCOL ran a hospitality competition for schools from 2008 to 2012, which was succeeded by a competition run by the former Hospitality Standards Institute.
UCOL Hospitality and Chef Programme Leader Ian Drew says there isn’t a lot of hospitality competitions open to secondary students, so reviving UCOL’s competition would provide a unique opportunity.
“This will give students the chance to take part in a competition with industry standard judging and gain the experience of cooking in a commercial standard kitchen. We really want the students to have fun and challenge themselves.”
The competition will have two separate classes. One involves competitors pre-baking and presenting six sweet muffins of the same style. The other will be a live kitchen class requiring students to prepare two portions of a chicken main course within 60 minutes.
Mr Drew says the organisers went with these rules to give students something they could easily practice.
“For students, you want to do something cost effective, easy for them to practice at home or at school, and can be done in a limited time.”
“For the live kitchen class we’re using chicken thighs, which are relatively cheap and accessible, so hopefully the students will be confident with their recipes come competition day.”
Mr Drew hopes that the competition will be a great learning experience for the competitors.
“We want to encourage these students to go further with their cooking and help them build their foundation skills.”
The competition will be held at UCOL’s Hospitality Block 9, 23 Queen Street, Palmerston North. The live kitchen class will begin at 10.30am. Prize-giving will take place at 2.00pm.