After turning the heat up in the kitchen, the winners and runners-up of Junior Master Chef Rotorua are excited about the opportunities coming their way.

The winners were team Burnt Toast - Leo Schweizer and Tom Parry, both 13.

The runners-up were The Kumara Gods, made up of Olivia Schweizer and Skye du Plessis, both 13, with the other two teams in the final being The IncrEdibles and MJ's Kitchen.

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The competition took place over Easter weekend at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

On Easter Friday contestants faced a mystery box challenge and a gourmet burger challenge, then on Saturday tackled a breakfast dish and classic pasta dish.

On the Sunday the finalists had to whip up a three-course meal.

Tom says everyone at the competition was super helpful and it was great fun to do with his friend.

Leo says he enjoyed improving his cooking while the challenging part was presentation, as it was a whole other aspect to think about.

He says his grandfather is an inspiration.

"He lives in England and when we go overseas it's important to him to put on a nice meal for us."

Skye enjoyed extending her knowledge, while Olivia Schweizer loved cooking with other people in a different location.


Skye says the challenging part was having a time limit and trying to make her dishes different from others.

When asked what they enjoy about cooking the teenagers' answers were unanimous - getting to eat the food after.

They say the competition has made them consider cooking more in the future - something their parents say they are hoping for too.

The awards ceremony was held on Sunday night on the Lakeland Queen.

The winners received a Junior Master Chef Rotorua trophy and a $2000 cash prize, as well as cooking one night at Giovanni's Restaurant.

The runners-up received a trophy, a $500 cash prize and will also cook at Giovanni's.

Tom says hopefully they can make people happy with their dishes while Leo says it will be a step up.

"This is proper service. You can't have people waiting."

The cooking night at Giovanni's will take place on May 12, and includes a three course meal. People can ring the restaurant to book a table in advance and it will cost $62.

Organiser and chef Deep Thakur says he is looking forward to the night.

"It will be an amazing experience for people to try their food and see what they cooked for the judges."

The judges included Lakeland Queen owner Terry Hammond, Lakeland Queen executive chef Marcus Dietzel, and Freelance Catering owner and Wai Ora Spa former executive chef Oat Daman.

At the ceremony, Deep also announced the winners and runners-up would be co-authors in his next cookbook.

Each team will contribute 20 recipes to the book, with Deep having 60 of his own.

Tom is looking forward to going through the old family recipes while Skye says there is not many young people who have this kind of opportunity.