Salon Culinaire competitor Marcela Garvalho, of Queenstown,
prepares her poached chicken dish at Technique training
restaurant in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
High temperatures, high stress and fine dining were on
the menu at Otago Polytechnic's Salon Culinaire competition in
About 50 people from throughout Otago took part in the
competition, which displayed their cooking and serving skills
in nine classes at the polytechnic's training restaurant.
Table Seven owner and judge Steve Richardson, of Dunedin,
said it was a chance for competitors to present their talents
and gain experience in competition.
"It's hugely stressful. Good on them for giving it a go.
Their hearts are pounding right now ... [they] would have
practised and practised and practised this dish for ages," Mr
He was looking for something innovative and surprising from
the winning dishes and he was pleased with the demonstration
of skills on show.
Otago Polytechnic senior hospitality lecturer and chief judge
David Gillespie, a veteran of many culinary competitions,
said the competitors learned much from the stress of the
"They are under immense pressure. They have to learn to try
and relax," he said.
Otago Polytechnic senior hospitality lecturer Cathy Price
said the competition expanded competitors' skills and gave
them a qualification which they could use around the world.
Mrs Price said she hoped taking part would encourage
competitors to compete in the nationals in Auckland, which is
a separate competition to those held in the regions.
Competitors were mostly hospitality students. However, some
classes gave industry professionals and members of the public
a chance to compete.
Results were. -Pasta (junior): Dylan Malcolm 1, Kylie
McKinney 2, Cameron Ryder 3. Chicken (open): Marcela Garvalho
1, Myung Li 2, Angela McCormack 3. Mystery box (team event):
Rosemary Soper and Amanda Ede 1, Sarah Stevens and Kate
Kempthorne 2, Scott Lord and Leighton Te Kanawa, and Dawn
Coles and Marcela Garvalho (equal) 3. Barista (open): Sean
Buchanan 1, Trina Melrose 2, April McLeod 3. Innovative vodka
cocktail (open): Aaron Crawford 1, Trina Melrose 2, Melinda
Campbell and Tyler Cathro-Carson (equal) 3. Table setting and
service: Melinda Campbell 1, April McLeod 2, Phuong Pham 3.
Professional service person 2012: Melinda Campbell 1, Trina
Melrose 2. Classic martini (open): Sean Buchanan 1, Viv
Moffat 2, Tyler Cathro-Carson 3.
Results for the amateur class were unavailable last night.
- Timothy Brown.