Chefs tested in NZ Hospitality Cham­pi­onships

Coastal News - - News - By AMY DI­A­MOND

To Kis­han Raik­war a fruit flan is not just any other dessert.

The pas­try must be cooked evenly and to per­fec­tion, the cen­tre must have the right con­sis­tency; not too runny, not too thick, and the fruit must be evenly dis­trib­uted and easy to cut.

The colour­fully de­li­cious sweet treat was one of the cat­e­gories the Whanga­mata chef judged in the NZ Hospitality Cham­pi­onships from Au­gust 11-14.

The an­nual event was held at the Lo­gan Camp­bell Cen­tre in Green­lane, Auck­land, and is the largest of its kind in the south­ern hemi­sphere.

Com­peti­tors en­tered from all around the coun­try and per­formed in front of 400 judges, in­clud­ing celebrity chef An­ton Mosi­mann OBE.

Kis­han is no stranger to the event as he has been a judge at the com­pe­ti­tion for the past 11 years and a spec­ta­tor and com­peti­tor be­fore that.

“They are com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ences,” he says.

Be­ing a com­peti­tor is tough as there is a lot of pres­sure put on the chefs and be­ing a judge gives Kis­han the op­por­tu­nity to guide the younger chefs.

He says both ex­pe­ri­ences are all about learn­ing.

Kis­han says he of­ten takes in­spi­ra­tion from other chefs at the com­pe­ti­tion to take back to his restau­rants, 404 at the Whanga­mata Club and Gas­tro­nomics in Thames.

“It’s an hon­our to be a part of the judg­ing team and it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to meet other chefs,” he says.

The sec­ond sec­tion Kis­han judged was the curry cat­e­gory where chefs gave their own spin on a favourite.

More than 800 peo­ple in the hospitality sec­tor en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion in a range of cat­e­gories from omelette making and cof­fee art to bed making.

But the cat­e­gory that al­ways stands out to Kis­han is the sec­ondary schools com­pe­ti­tion where the coun­try’s youngest chefs show their tal­ents.

“If you’ve got a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude, you can go far.”

A fruit flan (top) and a curry pre­sen­ta­tion ready for judg­ing at last month’s Hospitality Cham­pi­onships in Auck­land.

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