Thirteen college students recently took part in a cooking competition sponsored by NMIT. Held at Marlborough Boys College, students were required to produce two dishes with ingredients sourced from the Marlborough region. Each culinary creation included a protein based food, at least two vegetables and a selection of fresh herbs.
The dishes were judged by NMIT’s chef tutor Merouane Rahal and Marlborough chef Marcel Rood. Prior to the competition, several local chefs made themselves available to advise students and share useful culinary tips.
Marlborough Boys College teacher, Carolyn Brown says the competition was open to all students and had the extra incentive for competitors to gain credits towards their NCEA qualifications, as well as picking up some school house points and gain some valuable industry experience.
“They were tasked with putting together recipes, writing a suitable description to go on the menu and then creating two identical plates of food for marking," says Carolyn, "The meals needed to be suitable for a teenager, consist of protein and carbohydrates, in addition to two or more vegetables and be served up on time.”
The students also had to research the seasonality of the vegetables in their menus.
Carolyn says an important focus of the competition is sustainability and the students had to consider this when they made their menu choices.
“They looked at whether their protein food sources are endemic or introduced—such as goat, venison or rabbits—plus if they chose to use blue cod as their fish, they have to be aware of the legislation relating to fishing methods and sustainable fisheries stocks.”
The recent COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown meant students weren’t able to go out and gather or hunt for their protein food choices but the school has been able to purchase some through a wild game supplier in Marlborough.
NMIT and local producers sponsored prizes and some ingredients.