Kiwi Kids Can Cook and vegetables.co.nz

Kiwi Kids Can Cook Junior champion Jordin Wilson with Chef Anton Mosimann OBE

Brooke Rogers Senior Champs with Kiwi Kids Can Cook Hughie Blues

One of the world’s most celebrated chefs has given some of our top young Kiwi cooks a day they’ll never forget.

Chef Anton Mosimann OBE, the Swiss Michelin-starred celebrity chef, presented awards to the country’s top Junior and Senior champions at the ‘Kiwi Kids Can Cook’ Final. This event was held at the NZ Hospitality Championships at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland. Chef Mosimann was Executive Chef of the Dorchester Hotel in London for 13 years before he started his private dining club, Mosimann’s, in London. He has been chef to four generations of the British Royal Family; the Queen mother, the Queen, Prince Charles and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – Chef Mosimann cooked their wedding reception dinner. As well, he has cooked for many prime ministers, heads of state and royalty throughout the world.

Chef Mosimann judged competitors on their vegetable-inspired dish and he said he was very pleased to see such a high calibre of talent and food knowledge displayed by the young New Zealand finalists. “It was a fantastic competition. I am so impressed with the quality and innovation the children showed in such a short time,” he said. “My congratulations to all the children who competed today. These are the New Zealand chefs of our future.”

The winner of the Junior Championship was Jordin Wilson from Auckland, who created a Roasted Jerusalem artichoke, yam and almond soup with pan-fried prawns and herb oil. The winner of the Senior Championships was Brooke Rogers from Auckland, who made Spiced rhubarb, coconut yoghurt and hazelnut praline.

Regional finalists from across New Zealand took part in the competition in which primary school children (Years 1-8) cooked their favourite dish containing at least one New Zealand-grown vegetable. Although parents and caregivers were allowed to help with set-up and pack-down, once the clock started ticking, the kids had to do everything on their own, using just two gas burners and a microwave. Contestants had a cooking time limit of 30 minutes in which to make their dish while judges evaluated their knife and cookery skills. At the end of the competition, contestants presented their dish on a single plate. This was taken up to the judges’ table, where presentation and taste was evaluated.

NZ Chefs Association Executive Officer, Janine Quaid, said “The competition is designed to encourage kids to learn the important skills required to cook healthy meals. This is the first time we have had a celebrity chef of such a high calibre to assist. It’s been very special for the contestants to meet someone as celebrated in the food world as Chef Mosimann.”

“Vegetables.co.nz sponsored this competition as it encourages kids to cook and eat healthy meals by including fresh New Zealand vegetables as a key component in their dish,” Pip Duncan, Education and Marketing Manager for Vegetables.co.nz said. “Learning to cook a healthy meal is an invaluable life skill and these competitors are our culinary stars of the future. The dishes these young kids are cooking are amazing and it’s wonderful to see the support they are receiving from their parents.” Vegetables.co.nz works in close partnership with the Heart Foundation with the aim that every Kiwi kid will be able to cook a healthy meal in the school setting by the end of Year 8.

The Kiwi Kids Can Cook competition was founded by Chef Hughie Blues in 2006. This innovative platform showcases the talent and creativity of kids from around New Zealand who compete in regional finals with the winners competing at the NZ Hospitality Championships in Auckland. The heats for the 2019 competition start in November at the Horowhenua Food Trail. Congratulations also to Hughie as he recently became president of NZChefs.

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