SIT grad awarded best in NZ

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL -

Joseph Clarke has al­ways had a pas­sion for cook­ing and since grad­u­at­ing from South­ern In­sti­tute of Technology (SIT) with a Cer­tifi­cate in Hos­pi­tal­ity (Cook­ery) Level 4 in 2006 he has worked at the ex­clu­sive Blan­ket Bay Lux­ury Lodge in Glenorchy.

This Au­gust the 22-year-old was named the Res­tau­rant As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand’s 2010 NZ Chef of the Year, af­ter three days of in­tense com­pe­ti­tion in Auck­land.

‘‘It was a re­ally spe­cial moment - it’s been one of the goals I’ve had ever since I be­came a chef.

‘‘It’s a real tes­ta­ment to the great peo­ple be­hind me at Blan­ket Bay, and the great foun­da­tions that the tu­tors laid for me while I was study­ing at SIT.’’ Joseph is no stranger to suc­cess. Since he first be­gan com­pet­ing in 2006 with SIT’s team at the Nes­tle Toque d’Or na­tional cook­ery com­pe­ti­tion, he has been named the NZ Com­mis Chef of the Year (2007) and has rep­re­sented NZ in Dubai, Chile and Syd­ney in the in­ter­na­tional Young Com­mis Chefs com­pe­ti­tion. In Fe­bru­ary 2010 he was awarded third place at The Hans Bueschkens World Ju­nior Chefs Chal­lenge in Chile, where he was one of 17 ju­nior chefs from across the globe com­pet­ing. In July he was named the South­ern Lights Sa­lon Culi­naire Open Chef of the Re­gion at Cromwell.

What’s his win­ning for­mula you might ask? He be­lieves it’s all about prac­tice. SIT’s Cook­ery pro­gramme was a com­bi­na­tion of the­ory and prac­ti­cal classes which taught him all the ba­sics for work­ing in a kitchen en­vi­ron­ment - cor­rect cook­ing tem­per­a­tures, meth­ods and hy­giene. The two year pro­gramme in cook­ery is in­depth and taught in mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties with top of the range equip­ment.

‘‘What we used in the SIT kitchens is ex­actly the same as you would use in your work­place,’’ Joseph says.

Joseph has worked very hard to achieve all his goals to date and he gives a lot of credit to his tu­tors at SIT, Tony Goodall and Ray Flutey, who were very pro­fes­sional and al­ways happy to help. Much praise is also given to the chefs Joseph has trained un­der at Blan­ket Bay, Ja­son Dell and Mark Sy­camore, for shar­ing their ex­per­tise with him. Both chefs have pre­vi­ously won the NZ Chef of the Year ti­tle. He is look­ing for­ward to a bright fu­ture in the in­dus­try. ‘‘The world is my oys­ter: it’s up to me where I want to fo­cus.’’ SIT would like to con­grat­u­late Joseph on his suc­cess so far, and wish him all the very best for what is sure to be an in­cred­i­ble fu­ture. For more in­for­ma­tion on SIT and the Zero Fees Scheme please call 0800 4 0 FEES or visit

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