Pupils from Outram School are putting their best
chef's hat on as they head to the Maggi Kitchen Showdown
national grand final today.
Tessa Buschl, Holly Cameron, Josh MacKenzie and Amy
Waldburger are flying to Christchurch to battle North Island
schools Plimmerton and Springbank, after winning the South
Island competition on June 28.
Ninety-four teams consisting of year 7 and 8 pupils entered
the competition aiming to win the grand prize of $5000 for
their school, as well as taking part in a cooking segment on
the Erin Simpson Show.
The runners-up will each receive $1000.
Each team must create its own main-course recipe to feed a
family of four.
The dish must use at least one Maggi product, cost no more
than $20 and be cooked and served within 50 minutes.
The dish which won them the South Island competition was
Asian Style Duck with vermicelli noodles.
The four members split the cooking roles evenly but it fell
to Amy to prepare the duck, which judge Richard Brogan said
was ''cooked to perfection''.
Their inspiration came from watching popular TV show My
For the final, they will cook a Sticky Pork dish with
cinnamon and pumpkin puree, potato rosti, a vegie stack and
plum sauce made from scratch. It will be up to Amy again to
get the pork just right.
''We are quite confident, but we don't want to be too
confident. We know what it's like this time so we won't be
under as much pressure,'' Amy said.
''We reckon we can win,'' Tessa said with confidence.
''Yes our dish [last time] was definitely better.''
The children said they were competing for experience, but it
was also a lot of fun going to Christchurch for the South
Island competition and doing the fundraising. That included
making and selling more than 300 cupcakes, which had netted
It had been a lot of hard work for the group, with most
lunchtimes and weekends spent perfecting their meal in
preparation for the showdown.
''We cooked each meal around 15-20 times,'' Josh said.
At the moment, cooking is a hobby for the four, with just one
thing putting them off at this stage: ''The pressure sucks,''
they said in unison.
Outram teacher Stacy Buschl had been helping out with the
competition for the past three years.
''I'm very proud. They've worked very hard and they're a
really nice group of kids. They have a lot of fun while doing
it as well,'' Mrs Buschl said.
- Sam Carran