Young Whanganui chefs impressed judges with their creations at the annual UCOL Secondary Schools Hospitality Competition.

Teams from Whanganui Girls' College, Whanganui High School, Cullinane College, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho and Te Kura Correspondence whipped up cup cakes, omelettes, café sandwiches, pasta dishes, mocktails and coffee creations.

A Whanganui Girls' College (WGC) team went all out with their cupcakes producing varieties including lemon meringue, a carrot cake variety named 24 Carrot and Movie Night - a salted caramel flavoured cupcake with popcorn.

"We've been developing the recipes for around six weeks and perfecting them," said hospitality tutor Nina Barbezat.


"We're entered in the café sandwich contest as well and our entry is a deluxe BLT [Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato] sandwich with mayonnaise and onion jam."

Their efforts paid off with Sophie Deane (class award) and Solana Jones winning gold awards, Jaime Reid and Skyla Grant won silver and Eloise Masson-McKenzie won bronze in the cupcake contest.

And Jaime Reid won the gold class awards in the sandwich and pasta contests.

Whanganui High School (WHS) students had also been working with their tutor Linda Hardcastle and chef mentor Dean Wong to perfect their own range of cup cake flavours.

As well as their own salted caramel variety they had created a choc-cherry black forest variety, raspberry-lemonade with popping candy and Rose Petal flavoured with rosewater.

"Our sandwich entry is an open sandwich made with potato sourdough bread and reduced onion with kiwifruit cream," said Hardcastle.

WHS also did well in the cupcake contest with Lucy Skedgwell and Ava Fitzpatrick winning gold awards, Pounamu Tamehana, Kelahn Te Awhe Taylor, Britney Walsh and Caitlyn Butlin took silver and Olea Drummond and Alysha Makatea collected bronze.

Working as a team, Kelahn Te Awhe Taylor and Alysha Makatea were gold class winners in the omelette contest and Ava Fitzpatrick and Britney Walsh collected silver.


Rose Tanner and Quin De Ruyter of Cullinane picked up the bronze award.

UCOL campus manager Bronwyn Paul said she enjoyed her appointment as the judge of the mocktail contest.

"They were all delicious so it was hard to pick a winner.

"There was a very tasty peach one with coconut cream and one with banana and pineapple - all very tropical."

Wiki Teka of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho won the gold class award for her mocktail and WHS contestant Lucy Skedgwell also won a gold award.

Lucas Reardon of Cullinane College won the gold class award in the barista contest and Te Aroha Paki of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Tupoho was also awarded gold.

UCOL Hospitality and Chef Programme leader Ian Drew said the competition gives students the chance to experience industry-standard judging and work in a commercial standard kitchen.

"We really want the students to have fun and challenge themselves."