18 May 2012
CPIT Cookery tutor Neil MacInnes is one of only two A Level culinary judges in New Zealand. He has recently returned from assessing competitors at the Daejeon International Food Industry Exhibition in Korea where he also managed the New Zealand Culinary Team who took out silver in this prestigious competition.
MacInnes has been involved with national and international competitions for over 10 years. He secured his status as an A Level judge after leading New Zealand teams to three international gold medals as well as several silver and bronze. He is also a member of the World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS).He believes his judging experiences are instrumental to his successful teaching.
The New Zealand Culinary Team that competed in Daejeon.
“Being involved in competitions as a judge is a great opportunity to learn the latest food techniques and to see what people are doing that is new and different. It keeps me current and I share my experiences with my students,” he says.
Preparing for competing involves long hours of vigorous training. This year MacInnes put the five man national team, made up of CPIT graduate Darren Wright, Captain Steve LeCorre, Francky Godinho, Steve Hogan and Claire Nickel through their paces in CPIT’s kitchens, practising their menu repeatedly for the Korean challenge.
Recent CPIT graduates Zane Neustroski and Carlita Campbell also accompanied the team to Daejeon to assist and attend the WACS Congress, learning culinary techniques from around the world.
In Korea MacInnes evaluated the 14 competing teams as they worked to prepare a three-course meal from scratch for 35 people in just three and a half hours.They were assessed on their preparation, hygiene, use of space and food wastage, as well as the final products. Their only restriction was that they had to use Korean strawberries in the dessert.