Two Whanganui students have taken out the supreme award at a cooking competition, beating out teams from throughout New Zealand.

Charlotte Taylor and Matt Hirini, both students at Whanganui High School, won the gold medal at the National Secondary Schools' Culinary Competition in Auckland on August 29.

Charlotte also won a financial scholarship to study culinary arts at tertiary level.

There were eight teams in total at the competition, all of whom had won a regional final. They were given a brief: a starter that had to include pumpkin, and a main that had to include chicken, potatoes and seasonal vegetables.


Charlotte and Matt impressed with their entree, Summertime Squash, and their main, Chicken-and-a-Basket. They had to produce four of each dish - eight dishes in total - in just 90 minutes.

"Last year we won the bronze medal, so there's been a huge improvement since then," Charlotte said.

Charlotte and Matt also recently won silver at the Beef and Lamb competition in Auckland.

Both students are Year 13, which means they will be leaving school at the end of the year. Charlotte intends to take up her scholarship so she can become a chef; while Matt said it was one of a number of options he's considering.

"We're also thinking about who we can help train up before we leave, so there's a team for next year," Matt said.

They paid tribute to their teacher, Linda Hardcastle, and their mentor, Dean Wong, both of whom have spent many hours working with the pair.

Ms Hardcastle said she was delighted by her students' win.

"I'm very, very proud of them. They faced intense competition but did extremely well."


Charlotte and Matt also wanted to acknowledge Wanganui Produce, which supplied some of the food free of charge.