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Cheers to the Catering Champions

Roy Smith Memorial Trophy

We are proud to announce that the New Zealand Institutes of Technology and Polytehcnics (NZITPs) Skills Members, Nicholas Todd and Kimberley de Schot, were champions of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) catering competition, the 2017 Roy Smith Memorial Trophy.

Catering teams from the Royal New Zealand Navy and New Zealand Army competed in Burnham Camp, the largest army base in the South Island. Each catering team composed of three chefs (junior, intermediate, and senior), 1 steward as commis chef, and 1 steward for front of house.

The two-day competition included a paper quiz and weighing of ingredients on the first day, and the “Operational Cup”, which is a separate competition that requires setting up a field kitchen and cooking a meal for 20–30 people as fast as possible. Teams were tasked to create a seven-course meal: canapes, entrée, magic box (akin to the MasterChef mystery box), sorbet, main, dessert, and petit fours.

According to Nick, “The competition was really good. A lot of work and training went into the preparation. This was my third year to participate in the competition and my second year in a row that my team from Burnham has won. We won both hot kitchen and stewarding.”

For her part, Kim says, “This was my 3rd year competing in the Roy Smith Catering Competition. Comparing it to the previous year, I came into the competition as confident as I could be after winning last year. I knew we had a chance of doing it again. I had completed my intermediate steward course, as well as 2 national competitions Torque d’Or and WorldSkills, which gave me have more knowledge and understanding on why we do things. I knew exactly what I was doing, and our team worked really well together.

On what she valued most at the competition, Kim shares that, “My favourite part was creating a mystery box cocktail which we had been given a table of ingredients and had to use bicardi I came up with a mocha frappe.”

As for goals, Nick says, “My short-term goal is to just to really well in my upcoming competitions and to represent my family and the army. Long term, my goal is to have my own restaurant and hopefully it will be the first Michellin star restaurant in New Zealand.”

Both Nick and Kimberly won gold for their team and received individual gold trophies as second year chef and second year steward respectively. They will have the opportunity to be selected for the NZDF catering team for the prestigious Torque d’Or competition in Auckland.

Nick is our competitor for the ServiceIQ cooking skill category, while Kim is our restaurant service competitor. Both of them won gold in their respective skill categories at the 2016 WorldSkills National Competition and have been selected to be part of the NZITPs Skills Team. They will vie for medals in the Global Skills Challenge in Australia this July and the WorldSkills International Competition in Abu Dhabi, in October.