HomeNewsUCOL staff and students cooking up the future of food

UCOL staff and students cooking up the future of food

By UCOL on Friday, 23 April 2021

UCOL | Te Pūkenga Cookery students at the kitchen

On May 6, UCOL | Te Pūkenga cookery students will be hard at work for one of New Zealand AgriFood Week’s most unique events – a luxurious four-course dinner showcasing the flavours and innovations possible with the use of non-animal proteins.

Ngā Kai Whakatō Whenua - Emerging Proteins Dinner is the final event of New Zealand AgriFood Week’s ‘Future of Food’ Day. It will coincide with the release of a report by FoodHQ CEO, Dr Abby Thompson, on the potential of alternative plant, lab-grown, fungi, and even insect proteins.

While they won’t be serving up any insects, the UCOL | Te Pūkenga team have developed some unique items for the menu’s entrée and dessert courses. As an entrée, guests will discover a combination shitake, enoki and flat mushroom consommé, served alongside dumplings filled with Food Nation hemp and mushroom, with a hint of Rhayne horopito spice and spirulina oil.

A student chef chopping vegetables

Meanwhile the dessert will mix the familiar with the surprising, serving Black Rooster Chai panna cotta, chocolate and hemp brownie, Kaitahi smoothie Super Green Zing gel, and a triple berry coulis.

“It certainly was a unique brief – but our student and staff chefs have really risen to the challenge,” says Ian Drew, the UCOL | Te Pūkenga Programme Leader for Chef Training and Hospitality. “We’ll have twenty of our Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) students taking part, and it’s such a fantastic opportunity for them to shape what true cuisine might look like in the coming years.

“Our approach at UCOL | Te Pūkenga is to really foster those connections with industry, and this dinner fits in perfectly with what we want our students to learn. It’s about pairing experimentation with quality, so that you can serve the perfect dish to a hundred diners who are waiting on you.”

Working alongside the UCOL | Te Pūkenga team will be Catherine Edmonds (Singery, plant-based cuisine), who is leading the dinner portion of the menu for the futuristic food event.

This gourmet dinner will be hosted at Victory Venue, 20 Rangitikei Street, beginning at 6pm. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased through the dinner’s Eventbrite listing: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/nga-kai-whakato-whenua-emerging-proteins-dinner-tickets-150128242615