Students from Otago Polytechnic's Cromwell campus (from left) Ashleigh Kerr, Emma Evans and Erin Fenemor are all smiles after winning the top award at Monday's Nestle Toque d'Or competition in Auckland. Photo supplied.
The butter chicken mousse dessert served with chocolate
salted nut bar and berry and chilli water ice might have been
just a step too far for the 19 judges, but it did not matter
in the end.
A team from Otago Polytechnic's Cromwell campus outcooked and
outserved 11 other student teams, winning the top award in
the 2014 Nestle Toque d'Or competition.
Their menu included roasted baby beet salad, green rice crust
and beetroot cured salmon, roasted lamb rack with Anna
potatoes and winter vegetables.
The competition was held in Auckland on Monday. The Cromwell
team's win was a first for Otago Polytechnic.
It took the team over three hours to prepare and serve its
award-winning menu, in front of industry professionals.
Student chef Erin Fenemor said her team was elated to have
''We put in hours of training in the lead-up to the event,
juggling work and study commitments and forgoing all sorts of
Chef trainer and team manager polytechnic senior chef
lecturer Roydon Cullimore told the Otago Daily Times
the chicken mousse dessert was an attempt to use a sponsor's
product in an unusual way, but it was not regarded by the
judges as the strongest part of the Cromwell menu.
''The butter chicken didn't go down well at all,'' Mr
Other things did, however, and his team handled the intense
competition well and he believed the win would set the
students up for rewarding careers, Mr Cullimore said.
''Success in a live cook-off is all about timing, maintaining
composure when the pressure is on and working seamlessly as a
''If just one thing is out on the day, then failure is