The cooking success of four Rotorua pupils gave their peers a treat when a TV actress visited their school to see their dish.

Madeline Snell, 16, and 15-year-olds Fisher Wang, Josh France-Meeuws and Ella Campbell were picked for the final of the MAGGI Pop Up Kitchen Showdown thanks to the meal they prepared for former Shortland Street star Lucy Elliott.

Their semifinal entry was put together in front of Elliott and a camera crew in a John Paul College cooking room.

"Everyone was lined up outside the windows taking pictures," Fisher said.


The group were flown to Christchurch this week to compete against the two other finalist teams. The battle will be broadcast next month on The Adam and Eve Show, for which Elliott is a presenter.

The pupils were both nervous and excited about their television appearance and only had days to perfect a new dish for the final.

They were in the midst of exams when told they had been shortlisted, so less than a week had gone by since they started fully focusing on their entry.

Josh was confident the short time frame did not affect their chances of winning.

They had 30 minutes to prepare a meal that was cost $20, was able to feed a family of four, and used a MAGGI product.

A unique twist will give their entry a boost as well.

What made their semifinal meal, a beef stir fry, stand out was they used a marinade instead of a gravy sauce, Josh said.

The winning team will earn $250 each and $5000 for their school.