Medals on the menu for future Hospitality stars

Our Level 3 Hospitality and Catering (HAC) students returned with multiple awards from the recent Auckland Regional Culinary Competition, held at MIT.

There were 16 students involved and they brought home 18 medals, including six GOLDs, in front-of-house and back-of-house events.

Daisy Chandra, the head of the HAC learning area, says preparation for the event, and the event itself, are very demanding. The students must practise before and after school for many weeks, and on the event day they start preparing at 3am… packing supplies, polishing their shoes, and ensuring they look professional. “It’s a team effort and you have to be selfless to be successful. We’re very pleased with how well they did. Getting six gold medals is fantastic.”

Student Rynella Reynon said competition was intense . Ryanella had 50 minutes to complete a movie-themed table setting for four people, demonstrating innovation, practicality and style. Both she and Jasmine Puruto won silver medals in the event.

Victoria Malupo, who had 60 minutes to prepare and present four identical, individually plated main courses featuring mushrooms and pasta, described it as “nerve-wracking”. “There were a lot of processes I had to remember, and a lot of time pressure.”

Mary Vaikai said it was a lot like Master Chef on TV. “There’s a massive timer, and judges walking around talking to us, and near the end they do a countdown.” Mary was award GOLD in the Celebration Cake event. With only 30 minutes to decorate a cake using accessories made on site, Mary’s job was made even harder because her scissors and tray went missing. It worked in her favour though, because she showed resilience and problemsolving skills.

Mary and Chileak Thun, who competed as a team in the Perfect Healthy Burger event, won SILVER for their Devilish Fusion Jerkin Burger. This placed them in the top 12 and qualifies the whole team for the national competition at the ASB Showgrounds on 29 July.


GOLD Medals

Caleb Penewiripo – Smoothies

Noleen Prasad – Smoothies

Liberty Kaitapu – Classic Table Setting

Emmanuelle Tekori – Classic Table Setting

Inspecter Utakea-Mita – Café Sandwich

Mary Vaikai – Celebration Cake



Victoria Malupo – Pasta and Mushroom

Jessica Olive – Soup

Jasmine Puruto – Innovative Table Setting

Ryanella Reynon – Innovative Table Setting and Celebration Cake

Chileak Thun – Perfect Healthy Burger

Mary Vaikai – Perfect Healthy Burger

Robert Vave – Café Sandwich



Moana Rama-Manga – Soup

Mathew Tuisovivi – Omelette and Beef & Lamb Challenge (team event)

Jessica Olive – Pie or Tart

Robert Vave – Pie or Tart

Cody Waaka – Beef & Lamb Challenge (team event)



Dara Sanglap – Barista

Chileak Thun - Barista

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