Win takes the cake
For student Sarah Harrap, winning a national baking competition takes the cake.
The Mt Albert resident has won this year’s Weston Milling Trainee of the Year award after beating more than 70 competitors in Wellington last month.
The 19-year-old is in her final year of a two-year patisserie diploma at AUT but, as the daughter of a chef, she has enjoyed working with chocolate and pastry since she was young.
“Having a dad who’s a chef, you’re always brought up around food,” she says.
“It’s really good. Because I’m interested in it, it’s really easy to learn about it.”
She once made a Mad Hatter’s tea party out of chocolate for a course assessment and says for the competition, the key to her success was preparation as she baked mini quiches and Turkish bread, and decorated cupcakes.
Students were marked on their time-keeping, cleanliness, competency, taste, flavour and appearance of their food.
For the final Sarah had to bake the quiches and bread, decorate cupcakes and prepare and bake something sweet with premixed ingredients she was given.
“I’d come up with an idea and then Arno, my tutor, would train with me and help me make it better,” she says.
AUT’s senior patisserie lecturer Arno Sturny says Sarah’s focus and attention to detail were important factors contributing to her success.
“She’s very determined and she studies and researches well. You have to be meticulous around pastry as it’s quite science orientated,” he says.
Sarah has also been invited to be an observer judge at next year’s competition and will talk to other students interested in competition about what to expect.
The competition is open to all baking and chef patisserie trainees in New Zealand and has a prize package value of $14,000.
Perfect patisserie: AUT patisserie student Sarah Harrap is this year’s Weston Milling Trainee of the Year.