Chefs tested in NZ Hospitality Championships
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.