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.