School­girls cook up a storm with top chef

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By DANIELLE STREET

A group of school­girls are prov­ing their culi­nary worth af­ter cook­ing up a storm with top Auck­land chef Michael Mered­ith this week.

The girls were some of the 100 young peo­ple cho­sen to be part of the Prime Min­is­ter’s Youth Pro­gramme 2013.

For a whole day the 23 girls from West Auck­land schools took over the ex­pan­sive kitchen of Four Sea­sons Restau­rant, an eatery based at AUT’s city cam­pus.

The stu­dents devel­oped a three-course meal based on a ‘‘mar­ket to ta­ble’’ theme with the guid­ance of six in­house chefs. They then se­lected the in­gre­di­ents to cook an im­pres­sive meal from scratch – a unique op­por­tu­nity for 17-year-old Ivory Vaega.

‘‘It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence learn­ing new things like how to cook, chop and slice,’’ she says. ‘‘Meet­ing the chefs was more than what I ex­pected, they are funny, they are just like us.’’

Ivory was re­ferred to the pro­gramme by Kel­ston Girls Col­lege and is grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to try some­thing dif­fer­ent.

‘‘It’s great for us Pa­cific Is­land girls who some­times don’t get a chance to do what other kids do. We are get­ting spoilt for a whole week.’’


chef Michael Mered­ith, owner of Mered­ith’s restau­rant on Do­min­ion Rd, also stopped by to teach the girls a few tricks about de­liv­er­ing fresh flavours.

The Prime

Min­is­ter’s Youth pro­gramme is de­signed to cel­e­brate peo­ple aged be­tween 14 and 17 who have over­come chal­lenges to make a pos­i­tive change in life.

The young peo­ple cho­sen are taken for a se­ries of hol­i­day ac­tiv­i­ties over the course of a week.

The all-fe­male part of the pro­gramme is pro­vided by TYLA Trust.

The youth devel­op­ment

is based or­gan­i­sa­tion Avon­dale.

‘‘This is the sec­ond year we have run the all girls’ pro­gramme,’’ TYLA man­ager Jo­lene Cartwright says.

‘‘Last year it was such a success we got asked to do it again.’’

TYLA also of­fers three months of men­tor­ing and sup­port to the girls af­ter the ini­tial week-long pro­gramme.



Full flavour: From left: Ivory Vaega, Allen Te Moni, Danielle Kei and Vi­o­let Kei took over a pro­fes­sional kitchen for a day with sup­port from the Prime Min­is­ter’s Youth Pro­gramme.

Celebrity chef: Award-win­ning chef Michael Mered­ith of­fers some cook­ing tips to Ivory Vaega.

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