Last Monday Ho Chi Minh City saw the very best of Vietnamese and New Zealand cuisine, culinary skills and collaboration as a selection of top students from both countries brought their world-class fusion menus to life at a prestigious Gala Dinner.
The three teams, each consisting of two Vietnamese and two New Zealand students, showcased their outstanding culinary skills on stage in front of over 170 guests including the New Zealand Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment the Hon Steven Joyce.
The guests were treated to a selection of dishes from the students’ three-course fusion menus, while the three official judges: Haike Manning, New Zealand Ambassador to Viet Nam; Le Xuan Tam, Executive Chef, Caravelle Hotel and Brendon Partridge, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Hanoi; sampled all of the student’s dishes throughout the evening.
After both the judges and guests submitted their votes, Minister Joyce announced Team 3 as the winning team, with their braised lamb shanks with pickled cabbage, potato rosti and reduced jus proving especially popular on the night with a score of 79 out of 100.
· Jamin Gibson Auckland University of Technology (AUT)
· Emma Waser Otago Polytechnic
· Phan Văn Lâm Viet Giao Tourism School
· Nguyễn Ngọc Quân
VATEL International Business School Hotel & Tourism Management
The Gala Dinner was the culmination of the New Zealand – Viet Nam Culinary Collaboration and two months’ of hard work for the three teams initially working together online to develop their menus The students have spent the past three days visiting Vietnamese markets to collect their fresh local produce before finalising their menus at the Caravalle Hotel kitchen.
The New Zealand – Viet Nam Culinary Collaboration was an initiative designed under the New Zealand – Viet Nam Strategic Plan on Education, which was signed during Minister Joyce’s most recent visit to Viet Nam in November 2015. The plan was designed to deepen the level of engagement between the two countries and enrich students’ learning.
“With 60 per cent of Viet Nam’s population under 30 years old the Viet Nam government is very focused on improving education standards so that students can play a central role in Viet Nam’s development. New Zealand’s high quality education system and expertise in vocational training make us well placed to deliver more joint education initiatives focused on building skills for the Vietnamese workforce and attracting more Vietnamese students to study in New Zealand,” said Mr McPherson.