The New Zealand's national chefs’ team, including AUT lecturer John Kelleher, has won silver and bronze at the Culinary Olympics in Germany.
The team took the silver medal in the hot kitchen section rounding out a successful campaign which also bagged the bronze medal in the cold table section.
This is the first team New Zealand has sent to the Olympics for 28 years and this year 2000 chefs from 40 countries competed.
Kelleher, a senior culinary arts lecturer in the School of Hospitality and Tourism, was one of seven chefs from across the country who comprised the team.
“It has been such a long time. New Zealand wanted to get back into the culinary scene and the biggest international cooking competition in terms of chefs is the Culinary Olympics.
“There was a real sense of relief that every dish we put out was perfect and on time and that the team worked well under pressure.”
In the all-important hot kitchen section, they presented 110 guests and judges with a New Zealand-focused menu of salmon entrée, lamb rack and loin with hangi potatoes main course and a South Pacific-inspired cream and mango mousse and ginger cake for dessert.
The team honed these dishes at a series of banquets held across the country and were funded by Anchor Professionals.
In the culinary art section, fine-dining dishes were prepared and displayed cold to judges, using gelatine and aspic to give the appearance of being fresh and hot. It was not something done much in New Zealand and the team had been practising the skills.
The other chefs who competed in the hot kitchen section were Christchurch chefs Darren Wright, of Chillingworth Road, Richard Hingston, of Christchurch Casino, Corey Hume, of Blanket Bay, Steve Le Corre and Mark Sycamore of the ARA Institute of Christchurch.
The Singapore team were the overall winners.