Parsnips reign supreme!

Parsnip dish

Could you cook this in 30 minutes when you were 12?

The “Kiwi Kids Can Cook” final showdown, sponsored by vegetables.co.nz, was held on Sunday 11 August at Westfield’s Manukau Shopping Centre in South Auckland. Pictured here are the nation’s Top Kiwi Kid Cooks, Erynn May and Mia North. After winning their heats featuring New Zealand grown vegetables, they created a different dish for the finals and competed against other New Zealand Kiwi Kids Can Cook competitors.

The Grand Finale’s overall Junior winner, Mia North from Dunedin, created a delicious Vegetable Koshari and the overall Senior winner, Erynn May from Palmerston North, showed off some amazing skills and created a Parsnip and sticky date pudding with a butterscotch sauce and vanilla mascarpone (pictured above). Both completed their winning dishes within the allowed 30 minutes.  

This competition is a free, annual community event that involves heats from all over the country and even further afield. The 2019 Regional Finalists came from Dunedin, Christchurch, Taranaki, Levin, Fielding, Auckland, Chatham Islands and Northland. The purpose behind this event is to bring greater public awareness of vegetables and affordable, healthy meal choices for NZ families – starting at grass roots level.

Pip Duncan, Education and Marketing Manager for vegetables.co.nz, said that “By including New Zealand grown vegetables as a key component of this competition, we are encouraging kids to cook and enjoy vegetables. Congratulations to the competitors who  reached the grand final – they are our culinary stars of the future. Go these new culinary stars!"

First photo - Mia North                 Second photo - Erynn May

Mia North KKCC winner 7Parents and caregivers were allowed to help with set-up and pack-up, but once the clock started ticking, the kids did everything else on their own. Contestants had a time limit of 30 minutes and as with popular television cooking competitions, their plate was presented to the judges who checked presentation and flavour. The judges watched each contestant to evaluate both knife and cookery skills. Pip said "The dishes these young kids presented are inspiring and creative and it’s wonderful to see the support they are receiving from their whanau. The skills shown by Erynn, the Senior winner, in her parsnip dish were outstanding. Many of us would find it hard to match her dish in a hour, let alone the competition’s 30 minute time frame!" 

Erynn May KKCC Winner 2 small5Vegetables.co.nz team promotes fresh New Zealand grown vegetables and is supported New Zealand commercial vegetable growers. They are also working with year 7 and 8 food teachers in the school curriculum area. “Vegetables.co.nz and the Heart Foundation are also working closely with teachers for teachers to provide resources to assist Kiwi kids learn to cook a healthy meal by the end of year 8”, said Pip. 

Learning to cook a healthy meal is a skill for life. For more photos of Kiwi Kids can cook visit our facebook page.

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