Schoolgirls cook up a storm with top chef
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.
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.