BLOG NEWS: New Zealand Defence Force training team crowned the best!

Chef students, Natalie Verstegen and Blakely Kavea, and restaurant service student, J. D. Teture, have become the 2013 City & Guilds Training Team of the Year after winning the recent competition. [L-R Natalie Verstegen, Blakely Kavea, Glenn Fulcher and J.D. Teture]

The competition's head judge Glenn Curphey, Brentwood Hotel’s Executive Chef and President of the NZ Chefs’ Association Wellington branch, says the judges were delighted with the inspirational menus and skills of the competitors. "It is always great to see trainee members of the industry rise to the challenge," he said.

The finalists were: Cornell Institute of Business & Technology, New Zealand Defence Force, Novotel Auckland Airport, Waikato Institute of Technology, New Plymouth's Western Institute of Technology and Villa Maria Estate in Mangere.

All the teams  created a menu comprising an Entrée, featuring New Zealand Dutch- Style cheese with fresh New Zealand-grown vegetables, a Main, including Cervena Venison and potato or kumara, plus at least two more New Zealand-grown vegetables, and a Dessert using two Barker's products.

Vegetables.co.nz Food Services Consultant, Pip Duncan says  the winner's dish was a great showcase of New Zealand’s fine produce. The winning menu was:

Entrée - Potato croquette with New Zealand Dutch-style gouda served with a kiwifruit chutney

Main - Trio of Cervena Venison: smoked venison loin with kumara stack and beetroot foam, roast venison rack with a port reduction and steamed carrot bundle and seared venison loin with pumpkin puree and chocolate balsamic glaze

Dessert - Mille feuille with a blackcurrant coulis with Italian meringue, fresh strawberries and a sugar spiral

The competition was sponsored by City & Guilds, Deer Industry NZ, Vegetables.co.nz, NZ Specialist Cheese Makers, Barkers, Bidvest and Choice Catering Equipment and the winning team receive a $7,000 package.