Seafood creations blow celebrity chef out of the water

Seafood creations blow celebrity chef out of the water

Master Chef judge Simon Gault was impressed with the high level of skills on display at the first ever Te Pūkenga NMIT Festival Chef cooking competition held at the Havelock Mussel and Seafood Festival.
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Te Pūkenga NMIT cooking competition winners Darcy Thompson and Cora Slater with their prize packs.

Current Te Pūkenga NMIT student Abbey Lammas made a flavourful wasabi mayonnaise from scratch, having only learned the technique in the last three weeks of her L4 Cookery(external link) class. The dressing complemented her New Zealand King Salmon tartar with crisp skin, with a homemade sweet and sour sauce and smashed avocado.

Another current student, Jayden Gibson, wowed with a refreshing dish of Havelock Green Lipped Mussels and a chilli and coconut dressing. However, he was only able to produce one dish in the 20-minute time frame.

The winner of the 18+ category, Cora Slater, impressed celebrity chef judge Simon Gault by remaining calm and composed, even as over 200 people watched on in the NZ King Salmon cooking marquee. She created a sweet and sour fish titled 'Salmon Summer Escabeche'.

“I am very proud and happy to have represented our local region and the restaurant where I work, The Captain’s Daughter, in this prestigious event,” Cora said.

11-year-old Darcy Thompson, a local Havelock student, won the Under-18 category for his crispy Asian slaw with crispy skin salmon and spicy Asian dressing.

Te Pūkenga NMIT Cookery tutor, Chris Fortune and Hospitality tutor, Cherie Baker ensured Simon had everything he needed to entertain the packed culinary tent.

Simon shared several ways to cook and present Te Tauihu kai moana and went on to say that Havelock seafood was world class.

“Simon was very impressed with the high levels of skills shown by all competitors,” said Chris.

“He even went on to say that some of the dishes were as good as those from an award-winning local restaurant.”

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