From stuff.co.nz. I just read about this food challenge organised in Christchurch. This is very exciting, I wish I could go.
STACY SQUIRES/The Press
Professional cooks get plenty of merit. Now there's a contest for talented home cooks who love to entertain, writes Kate Fraser.
For five years Christchurch Casino executive chef and New Zealand Culinary Team manager Gary Miller has been selecting and training professional chefs to represent New Zealand at international culinary competitions.
To date his teams have won 23 gold medals, four silver medals, and three bronze medals.
Miller is now determined to find a winning amateur: the hero of domestic kitchens, the home cook. He says, "We keep hearing cooking at home is a dying art, but I'm not convinced. Many people are entertaining with gusto and confidence so I am on a mission to find the best home cook in Canterbury."
The main event of Miller's mission will be the central act of a revamped Canterbury wine and food festival. This has been renamed and rejigged and is now More FM Sunday in the Park – "a celebration of cuisine, wine, ales and music".
It will be held in Hagley Park on Sunday, February 26, and a major attraction is sure to be the Kitchen Masters marquee, scene of the Best Home Cooks Cook-Off.
Entrants in the best home cook quest are invited to begin their plan of attack forthwith. The first step is to enter a recipe.
Miller and fellow foodie event managers Andy Gibbs, executive chef at the Christchurch Convention Centre, and Neil MacInnes, chef tutor at CPIT School of Food and Hospitality, will assess all entries to find 15 semi-semi- finalists – possible stars of home and hearth – who will then cook their dishes at home, but in front of one of the assessment team.
Six people will go on to the semi-final elimination rounds at Sunday in the Park. Loose lips sink ships, says Miller, who is cautious about revealing how these semi- finalists will make the cut to the grand final. "Let's just say would-be winners should be cracking some eggs, tasting a few wines, exercising their taste buds and working on creating delicious dishes from leftovers."
Finalists will design, cook and serve a two- course meal of a cold entree and a hot main course for six people from ingredients available from festival vendors, with each dish matched to an appropriate beverage – also available on-site. A time limit applies.
It will all be worth it. The Best Home Cook in Canterbury wins about $5000 of prizes, including Bosch home appliances to the value of $2000 from Kitchen Things.
enter, entrants should send a copy of the recipe they most like to cook
at home, along with their name, address, telephone number/s and date of
birth (one prize is dinner for four at Christchurch Casino and diners
must be over 20 years of age) to:
KITCHEN MASTERS, Cooking Contest for Home Cooks, PO Box 3077, Christchurch. Entries close January 27.
Semi-semi-finalists should be available to cook their favourite recipe for assessment from February 1-12.
Entrants may not hold any professional cooking or cookery-related qualifications and may not be employed in the capacity of chef, cook, baker or pastry chef.
More information is available on www.canterburychefs.com.