Cre­ative cooks im­press judges by tasty dishes

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - LIU CHEN

Two teams from Somerville In­ter­me­di­ate School stood out and en­tered this year’s Maggi Pop-Up Kitchen Show­down as the fifth and last semi-finalists.

Eminem, a team of four girls, caught the show’s judges’ taste­buds with their colour­ful sweet chilli and gar­lic prawns on sticky rice, while team Co­conut Sharks, made up by three boys, gath­ered the most public votes with their let­tuce taco boats.

In the na­tional TV com­pe­ti­tion, the first five semi-finalists are cho­sen by judges, and the sixth is picked by the public.

Three of the six semi-fi­nal teams are from East Auck­land, with a Buck­lands Beach In­ter­me­di­ate School team be­ing the first se­lected. All teams were fea­tured on TVNZ 2’s The Adam and Eve Show.

The girls - Year 8 stu­dents Ellen Pot­ter, Miesha Ta­mati, Na­dia Askari and Ee­sha San­jay - were ‘‘re­ally ex­cited and proud’’ when they heard the news.

‘‘We’re try­ing to be unique to other groups. Our dish is in­no­va­tive and dif­fer­ent,’’ team leader Miesha says.

Their cre­ation uses a Maggi chicken chow mein base, and is served with a fresh trop­i­cal salad.

‘‘It’s not just about win­ning. It’s about hav­ing fun, get­ting to know new peo­ple and learn­ing new skills.’’

Guided by their Year 8 class­room teacher Vanessa Han­cock, Co­conut Sharks - Daniel Toms, Ali El-Bay­ati and Sean Dicker - ranked first with 1357 public votes among all en­tries.

The boys take a piece of ice­berg let­tuce as the taco shell to hold boiled pota­toes and other veg­eta­bles, topped with crushed cashews, us­ing Maggi apri­cot chicken as the recipe base.

‘‘It’s very healthy be­cause it’s pretty much just a salad, but you hold your salad, which means us­ing your na­ture’s cut­lery in­stead of man-made cut­lery,’’ Daniel says, with a smile.

Han­cock says the team is ‘‘in­spi­ra­tional’’ and gained lots of sup­port from their class­mates, fam­i­lies and friends.

‘‘I’m ab­so­lutely thrilled. I re­ally wanted to prove that class­room teach­ers could ac­tu­ally have a go with th­ese types of STEAM [sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing, arts and math] chal­lenges.’’

Find the pupils’ recipes on­line at maggi.co.nz/kitchen-show­down. The na­tional fi­nals will on TVNZ 2’s The Adam and Eve Show at 3.35pm dur­ing the week of Au­gust 28 to Septem­ber 1.

Boys’ team Co­conut Sharks - Daniel, Ali and Sean - with their home room teacher Vanessa Han­cock.

PHO­TOS: LIU CHEN / STUFF

Team Eminem - Ellen, Ee­sha, Miesha and Na­dia, and their food tech­nol­ogy teacher Debbie Thorpe.

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