Hospitality Business Magazine

The 2014 NZ Culinary Fare

After three days of intense competitions and months of preparation, the major award winners of the 2014 NZ Culinary Fare were revealed recently at the Vodafone Events Centre in Auckland. These are just the competitors and teams who came out on top from the 600 competitors who competed in more than 60 classes. Congratulations to all the winners:

NZMA BrandyAn NZMA hospitality student has been named the New Zealand Training Food and Beverage Service Person of the Year at the prestigious New Zealand Culinary Fare.

Xiangying Zan (Brandy) battled it out against the best from around the country, in four different competitions – barista, classic cocktails, wine and beverage service and table setting.  The 22 year old from Shanxi, China, was the only contestant to win a medal in each of the four categories.

“This is the first hospitality competition I’ve ever entered and I was so nervous.  But I could hear my tutors and classmates cheering me on from the side-lines and that gave me confidence,” said Brandy, who is studying towards her Diploma in Applied Hospitality Management Level 6 at NZMA, and working as a casual food and beverage attendant at Eden Park.


Cromwell winners Otago_11016_128Otago Polytechnic Cromwell Campus students Erin Fenemor, Emma Evans and Ashleigh Kerr have proven that when the ‘heat is on in the kitchen’ it is no barrier to success, after they won the top award at the prestigious 2014 Nestlé Toque d’Or competition.

For over three hours, Erin and Emma battled it out against 22 other top culinary students from around the country to create their award-winning three course menu. Serving up the dishes to a table of VIP guests, was the job of the team’s restaurant service competitor Ashleigh.

Erin Fenemor said she and her team mates were elated to have won the competition, after having given up so much and trained so hard for the event.

“We put in hours of training in the lead up to the event, juggling work and study commitments and forgoing all sorts of social activities in a bid to win the competition. On the day, that training and effort paid off with a menu and service delivery that scored top marks.”


rsz_1_serviceiq_culinaryfare_nicolasNickolas Han of New Plymouth is the ServiceIQ Cookery Apprentice of the Year 2014. Han was awarded the title recently at the Culinary Fare in Auckland, after being the runner-up last year.

This is New Zealand’s toughest and most prestigious competition for apprentice chefs. As the winner, Han will travel to the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival next year and Han and the other finalists also become members of the NZ Chefs Association.

Han, 28, is a chef at the Pacific International Hotel Management School, New Plymouth, and is undertaking the ServiceIQ Apprenticeship in Cookery. He has completed the ServiceIQ Certificate in Hospitality Services and also has a Bachelor of Applied Microbiology from South Korea.

Han says his path to becoming a chef began in 2008 when he started working in an Italian restaurant as a kitchen hand. “It was a life changing moment and from this point in time I knew what I wanted to be. The best things about the Apprenticeship are that I can learn on the job, get trained, get qualified and get paid for it. I love my job due to the fact cooking has no boundary.”


Weltec 11015_0764 EntréThis year’s Nestlé Toque d’Or innovation prize was awarded to the Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec). The competing team showcased nine Nestlé Professional products across the three courses of their menu, says judge and NZ Chefs Association ambassador, Anita Sarginson.

“In the entrée, we saw BUITONI Coulis used with egg whites then dehydrated to create a tomato wafer which added some wonderful texture to their dish. They also used MAGGI Onion Bouillon in their poaching liquor to add volume to their flavour palate, and a hint of MAGGI Oyster sauce to bring some umami flavour to the delicate Akaroa Salmon.

“Their main course was entitled Marrakesh Moment. Again, the use of Nestlé Professional products was innovative in that the MAGGI Jus Lie was used to thicken the tagine and wet sauce. For the Arabic sauce, the team’s take on flavours using NESCAFÉ Gold blend coffee and dry sherry was a little more expected. However, it was judged that the use of the product translated particularly well, in terms of the flavour of the dish.

“The WelTec dessert showcased four Nestlé Professional products. MAGGI Coconut Milk Powder provided flavour to a well crafted sorbet and added a real tropical feel to the Marquis.  NESTLÉ Highlander Sweetened Condensed Milk was used in the candied peanut powder and this, combined with the NESTLÉ White Snowcap and Royal Dark Couverture, rounded out the dessert elements adding richness, texture and flavour.”