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Award-winning cookery student fundraising for nationals

By UCOL on Wednesday, 07 June 2017

A chef cooking a dish in a commercial kitchen

UCOL cookery student Zach Meads is preparing for the New Zealand Hospitality Championships with a fundraising dinner that will give people a taste of what he’s got planned for the competition.

Zach and UCOL Chef Lecturer Mark Smith will be holding a fundraising dinner at Cooks Bar & Café in Marton to help cover the costs of competing at the national competition.
 
Zach will be competing in the Commis Chef of the Year category at July’s New Zealand Hospitality Championships in Auckland. The competition involves preparing a three course meal consisting of a vegetarian entrée, beef main, and dessert of his choice.
 
For the fundraiser, Zach will be cooking a three course meal similar to what he will make in the competition.
 
Money raised will help cover the cost of travel, accommodation, and ingredients.
 
Zach, a New Zealand Diploma in Cookery (Advanced) student, says he’s excited about competing against the best young chefs in the country.
 
“I’m more confident this year, after having a few more competitions under my belt.”
 
“I want to help inspire students and future students to keep going hard at achieving their goals.”
 
Zach booked his place in the nationals after winning a gold medal at the recent New Zealand Chefs Hawke’s Bay Salon. He took out the Desserts (Live Class) Trainee Category for his Lemon, Lime and Bitters Cheesecake (pictured below).

Zach-Meads-Lemon-Lime-Bitters-Cheesecake.jpg
 
He had an hour to make a dessert that included two ingredients produced in Hawke’s Bay. Zach used Village Press citrus infused olive oil and Mission Estate Winery sauvignon blanc.
 
Zach said the idea for the cheesecake came to him while training.
 
“I had been working on another dessert, but I thought that one would be good for the national competition. So I just thought, ‘why not do something with lemon, lime and bitters?’”
 
Zach’s success in Hawkes’ Bay adds to his growing list of accolades. Last year he won gold and silver awards in the Commis Chef category at the National Salon, before going on to claim silver at the New Zealand WorldSkills Competition.
 
Zach said the Hawke’s Bay competition was a lot of fun and he was happy to come away with the gold.
 
“A cool thing about going to these competitions is seeing how everyone has progressed over time. It shows what you can achieve if you stick at it.”
 
“I definitely couldn’t have done this without the support of UCOL and lecturer Mark Smith.”
 
 

Zach Meads New Zealand Hospitality Championships Fundraising Dinner

When: Wednesday 19 July, 6:30pm
Where: Cooks Bar & Café, 301 Broadway, Marton.
Cost: $49 for three courses. Tickets are available from Mark Smith Smith@ucol.ac.nz.
 
 
Pictured above: Zach Meads in action at the NZ Chefs Hawke’s Bay Salon.
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