AUT’s Arno Sturny has been named New Zealand’s Culinarian of the Year by the New Zealand Chef’s Association.
The senior lecturer in patisserie had no idea the win was coming when it was announced at the association’s annual conference in Christchurch at the end of July.
“It was definitely a surprise at the time. It was an honour,” he says.
Without knowing who nominated him or what the nomination letter said, Sturny believes the win had a lot to do with his work in patisserie over the past few years.
Earlier this year he managed the New Zealand Junior Pastry Team that placed fourth at the Junior Pastry World Cup in Italy.
He was one of the culinarian’s who over the years was instrumental in developing and improving the standard of Patisserie classes at the New Zealand Culinary Fare competition, which has seen pastry chefs compete in the various Pastry Chef of the Year and Pastry Team of the Year competitions.
He is a patisserie judge and has been for many years and judged at the 2013 New Zealand Culinary Fare last week.
National Vice President of the NZCA Renny Aprea says the winner of the award should demonstrate all the principles of professionalism and those of the association too.
“Arno won because of his student and teaching focus. He has mentored, managed and coached students and the members of the Pastry teams.”
This honour is awarded to a member of the association each year and recognises achievement in the industry.
Anita Sarginson, president of the New Zealand Culinary Association says Sturny was chosen for his commitment to education, his skills and dedication to excellence in his pastry work.
“He has given an enormous amount of his time generously to the NZ Pastry team to ensure that they have gone off shore with sound technical skill, armed with the ability to build on their creative abilities and showcased New Zealand Pastry talent,” she says.
“Arno genuinely cares about his students and their career paths, and to this end he has seen some of his students applying their craft in Michelin star restaurants around the world.”
The New Zealand Chef Association is part of the World Association of Chef Societies and currently has a membership of approximately 700.