SIT grad awarded best in NZ
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 www.sit.ac.nz.