Otago kids sought for chal­lenge


Pri­mary schools in Clutha are be­ing en­cour­aged to en­ter pupils in a cook­ing com­pe­ti­tion that aims to stim­u­late cre­ativ­ity in the kitchen and raise aware­ness about food wastage.

Root to Tip chal­lenges pairs of year five and year six pupils to grate, slice, cook, cre­ate and plate a veg­etable-based meal.

The aim of the na­tion­wide com­pe­ti­tion, run by Gar­den to Ta­ble with sup­port from RaboDirect, is to use as much of the fruit or veg­etable as pos­si­ble, and leave lit­tle to no food waste.

The dead­line for en­tries has been ex­tended to June 12, and the organisers are es­pe­cially seek­ing en­tries from teams in Otago and South­land.

Teams that en­ter from the Otago re­gion stand a good chance of mak­ing it to the re­gional fi­nal at Dunedin’s Bal­mace­wan School on June 23, and could po­ten­tially be wing­ing their way to Welling­ton to cook in front of celebrity chef and head judge Al Brown in the na­tional fi­nals.

The win­ning team re­ceives a $1000 ac­count with RaboDirect, plus one-year free mem­ber­ship to the Gar­den to Ta­ble pro­gramme for their school and a range of other kitchen items.

Chil­dren must source pro­duce lo­cally from fam­ily, com­mu­nity or school gar­dens, and turn it into a cre­ative, de­li­cious two-course meal, which will be judged by an ex­pert panel for taste and min­imis­ing the amount of food wasted.

Brown said he was ‘‘ex­cited to be in­volved in sup­port­ing some of New Zealand’s bud­ding tal­ent in the kitchen’’. When asked what his piece of ad­vice was for those go­ing head to head in the re­gional heats, he said ‘‘it’s all in the com­pe­ti­tion’s name’’.

‘‘Us­ing as much of the pro­duce as pos­si­ble in each meal, lit­er­ally from ‘root to tip’, is what our judges will be look­ing for. The food’s got to be great to eat, and sim­ple enough to cook re­ally well in a com­pe­ti­tion en­vi­ron­ment too. And ex­tra points for cre­ativ­ity.’’

More info: root­totip.org.nz


Root to Tip head judge Al Brown says there has been a huge amount of in­ter­est in the com­pe­ti­tion.

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