Friends, family, and staff members from the Tertiary Training Institute gathered yesterday to honour three students who recently brought home a silver medal from a cooking competition in Auckland.
Culinary arts students Miimetua Noeline Kauvai-Tuaputa and Ngametua Tariau, and food and beverage service student Riana Cuthers-Boxhoorn competed in the 2014 team cooking competition at the New Zealand Culinary Fare in Auckland last month, where they placed second amongst some stiff competitors.
At the competition, Cuthers-Boxhoorn earned a silver medal for the front of house category, and Tariu and Kauvai-Tuaputa brought back a bronze medal for the culinary arts portion of the competition.
Yesterday, Cuthers-Boxhoorn, Tariu, and Chef Trainer Jezebel Tamasese-Karika were present at the ceremony, where the team members proudly displayed their hard-earned medals.
“I was pretty confident, relaxed ... I didn’t want to be too nervous,” said Tariau, when asked how he felt prior to the competition. “We were all prepared.”
Prior to travelling to NZ, the team had spent a busy five weeks preparing for the competition.
During a training run in early August, a group of CINews staffers were treated to a test meal, which featured a perfect medium-rare piece of venison.
Could the team replicate their success on the big stage?
“We did well, and everything was done on time ... some of our stuff was even done well before serving time,” said Tariau, adding the venison was once again, cooked flawlessly.
“I went and asked the judges, and they said it was cooked perfectly,” he said.
Tamasese-Karika, who guided the team through the competition, said she was very proud of the students.
“They peaked at that moment. After all of that training, they performed at 110 per cent,” she said.
With the competition now behind him, Tariau is now looking ahead to an early 2015 graduation, and hopes to travel around the world to places like Japan, Europe, and America to build on his skills.
The future should be bright for all three students, who flew from the Rock and performed exceptionally amongst some serious competition.
“Coming from a small island, and challenging NZ’s best, it was incredible,” said Tariau.