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The New Zealand Culinary Journey was created to give students a taste of life in the world of a professional chef. Organised by the New Zealand Culinary Development Trust, and supported by the Hospitality Training Trust, this event provides students the chance to meet some of New Zealand's top chefs, ask questions and watch them at work. Students also get the opportunity to take a tour of one of SkyCity's many busy kitchens, taste some of the best food in the country, and talk to food and hospitality professionals to get real insight into this challenging and satisfying profession.

2019 Highlights

The morning was hosted by Chef Steve Roberts at Moffat, where students enjoyed a cooked breakfast and tour/education of commercial kitchen equipment.

Following breakfast, students gained valuable insight into two Bidfood production sites - Meat Processing and Prepared Produce. Students witnessed first hand how fruit, vegetables and meat is processed by Bidfood staff and state of the art machinery. 

Lunchtime saw the students change venue, to enjoy a specially-prepared lunch at the acclaimed at Auckland’s SkyCity. With a variety of themed food stations, Students were treated to dish after dish of delicacies from the kitchen. During the lunch students were given the opportunity to meet previous competition winners, including previous winner Sam Heaven, who has completed his first year of a three-year apprenticeship at SkyCity. 

Sam Heaven prepared a masterclass for the students - Plating two delicious desserts. Sam showed the students plating techniques he had learnt from other well known chefs.

Working his way through an apprenticeship which he hopes will result in the opportunity for him to work in some of New Zealand's top kitchens, Sam says winning the competition, and taking advantage of the support given to him by the Culinary Arts Trust, has given him a significant career boost. 

“Winning the National Secondary Schools Culinary Competition has changed my life, absolutely,” says Sam, who currently works in the production kitchen and aims to graduate to some of SkyCity’s top-level restaurants like The Sugar Club. “I’ve been given a start that I don’t think I’d ever have had if I hadn’t won. It’s the best thing I ever did, and I’d encourage anyone thinking about a career
in hospitality to have a go.”

The inaugural New Zealand Culinary Journey concluded with a tour of the impressive kitchens in
the SkyCity complex for the students and their tutors before this wonderful and exciting day came to a close. 

The 2021 Culinary Journey will take place following the Grand Final of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge in September 2021. More details to come.

Photo's of the New Zealand Culinary Journey 2017

The 2017 NZCJ started with a Master Class held at AUT with Renny, Senior Lecturer, showing a story of the humble 'Apple'. 

The NSSCC regional winners were then lucky enough to hear from some of Auckland's culinary legends. They told their stories, life as a chef and what would help these guys become the future stars.

They then headed into the kitchen for a hands on demo, trying out the latest industry skills.

Lunch at Sky City was next, with a catch up with last years winner, who is now doing a City & Guilds Apprenticeship with Sky City. After lunch, we toured the Sky City Facilities and got a taste of the volume and all the outlets they operate daily. 

For more photos head to Facebook


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