Whitireia cooks up a storm
Graduates of Whitireia’s cookery programme have been feasting on success.
Matt Lambert, who graduated from the polytech in 1999, was awarded a coveted Michelin star last year for his New Zealand-styled restaurant, The Musket Room, in New York.
Another graduate, Peter Gunn, is sous chef at Attica in Melbourne, which was recently named one of the top 40 restaurants in the world.
Programme manager Liz Waterhouse said the international success of some graduates was validation of the training they received at Whitireia.
Waterhouse said there had been increased interest recently, largely due to TV programmes like Masterchef.
But the continued success of graduates like Lambert and Gunn would draw prospective chefs to the course, she said.
‘‘Cooking is an art. With all the cookery programmes on TV, people are understanding that a little bit more.’’
Most important, she said, were the values instilled in the students, who come into the course with a range of abilities and experiences.
‘‘Some certainly have a flair for cooking. But part way through the course some students will blossom, and really blow us away.’’