Last year, the event was a closed assessment due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions but this year it was open to all.
One of the judges, Pia Jones, an NMIT Culinary Arts graduate from last year, lamented over her missed opportunity to experience the hustle and bustle of Cake Day, but she was excited to be involved in assessing the creations on display this year.
Pia’s fellow judges, Ben Coutts, owner of Paragon Eatery, Tami Neuman, ex NMIT Trainee Chef 2008 and Ingrid Penfold, Ōra King Salmon PR were judging the buffet of sweet and savoury items.
Ingrid, having attended Cake Day previously, was excited to try the selection.
“I think it is a great way to support what’s going on in the culinary industry,” she said.
Each piece is assessed for taste, texture, consistency and presentation. Ākonga are also assessed on the ‘complex pastries’ segment of the programme.
One student, Nakita Cook, said that she had been working on this assessment for two weeks. She had made a Japanese cheesecake and a mushroom tarte tartin for the day.
“I’m loving the programme,” she said, “it is easy some of the time and then challenging at other times, which I find really nice.”
Nikita and her classmates finish the programme at the end of the year.
Cake day attendees enjoyed a coffee and items from the buffet including baked apple crumble with oats, Japanese cheesecake, Linzer torte, mille-fueille, sourdoughs, samosas, gourmet sausage rolls and tarte tartin.
Stand out dishes were the black forest macarons, mushroom and garlic bouche and the sourdough with homemade pickles.