Hospitality Business Magazine

Entries open for national secondary school culinary challenge

rsz_nssccEntries are now open for the annual National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) where contestants will cook their way through a regional challenge and earn a spot at the final in Auckland later this year. The winners of the national event will then wing their way to Tahiti to compete in an international culinary cook off.

The New Zealand competition begins with 10 regional events where teams of two Year 12/13 students go head-to-head in a live cook off preparing, cooking and presenting an individually plated entree featuring beetroot and main course to include chicken, potatoes and fresh vegetables, all within 90 minutes. Key ingredients include chicken, potato and beetroot.

Students are scored across a number of criteria – food preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste, and the use of New Zealand grown vegetables and chicken.

NSSCC Event Manager, Glenn Fulcher, City & Guilds says, “It’s very exciting to see young talent shining through in the culinary field. These students always give it their best and create amazing dishes.

“They are our chefs of the future and this event will put their skill and creativity to the test with the added pressure of a time restricted, live cooking event.”

Chief Judge Mark Wylie, is a national and international award winning chef. He has a keen interest in nurturing youth within the industry and has trained many chefs over the years to reach great success in competitions. Mark is also excited about this year’s upcoming NSSCC and is also looking forward to mentoring the winning team in the lead up to the International Secondary Schools Challenge (ISSCC) event in Tahiti.

The first regional competition is at EIT Hawkes Bay on May 24 with the last at AUT Auckland on July 10 and MIT Auckland is hosting the final cook off on August 28. The winning NSSCC young chefs will then compete in the ISSCC in Tahiti from October 4 – 10.

NSSCC would also like to acknowledge the strong support of its key industry sponsors in helping create this great event, which is helping nurture New Zealand’s future top chefs.

The ISSCC challenge in Tahiti sees the young chefs write a food order with full costing, photograph the dish and write work plans. During the competition the team of two students will prepare, cook and display 4 servings of one main dish within 1 hour from start to finish. The dish may be modern, classical or original and all dish ingredients must come from the list provided by event organisers.

While in Tahiti contestants will also immerse themselves in local cuisine and culture with a tour of the island visiting a local pineapple plantation and fruit juice factory, enjoy a picnic on nearby Moorea Island, visit a local marae and dine at the famous waterfront Place Vaiete roulottes (foodtrucks) in Papeete.

The NSSCC winners’ prizes include – $2,000 study scholarship and a trip to Tahiti, along with their teacher, to compete. The winning school receives $1,000 Bidvest voucher and a Moffat Blue Seal Turbofan oven.

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