Two Whanganui High School students have a medal tally to make Olympians green with envy but it is their prowess with silverbeet, rather than athletic ability, that has earned them honours.
Charlotte Taylor and Olivia Caird have brought home bronze medals from the grand final of the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) held in Auckland on August 30.
After winning the regional competition in June, the girls prepared for the final with support from WHS head of food, nutrition and hospitality department Linda Hardcastle and mentor chef Dean Wong.
Charlotte and Olivia needed to prepare four portions of their entree of ravioli blette bleur (ravioli filled with silverbeet, bacon and blue cheese) served with spring onion and parmesan cream sauce and parmesan wafers.
They were also required to prepare four portions of the main dish chicken vialotte - rolled chicken breast stuffed with rhubarb, lemon and shallots, served with baby carrots, capsicum and smashed potato with avocado, accompanied by a rhubarb and raspberry sauce.
The duo had just 90 minutes to prepare the dishes and Mrs Hardcastle said they worked extremely well under pressure.
"As this is the first time the girls have entered a cooking competition, the whole experience has been a massive learning curve for them and while the nerves were there, they worked extremely well."
Charlotte and Olivia can now add their latest medals to the one gold and three silver medals they won at the regional contest and they also won the annual omelette competition held at UCOL in June.