Exciting culinary competition on menu for Central Otago

Wednesday 16 June 2010, 10:11AM
By Otago Polytechnic


Trainee and experienced chefs, bakers, baristas and waiters from around New Zealand are invited to test their skills and culinary capabilities at the prestigious Southern Lights Salon Culinaire competition in Cromwell this July.

Entries are now open for the 13th annual Southern Lights Salon Culinaire which will be hosted this year by Otago Polytechnic in conjunction with the Otago Southland Chefs Association. The competition will be held on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July at Otago Polytechnic’s Cromwell Campus.

Considered one of the South Island’s premier culinary and service industry competitions, the Salon Culinaire gives entrants the chance to compete in any of the 30 live, static and Restaurant of the Year categories as well as the highly competitive classes for Commis Chef and Open Chef of the Region. Events include everything from Imaginative Table Setting and Classic and Freestyle Cocktail Making to the best Cervena venison, chicken, salmon, lamb and pasta dishes.

The competition also welcomes entries from budding young chefs at high school for the High Tea, Fruit Flan, Quiche or Open Pie, Presentation Cheese Board and Brunch Interschool classes.

The “Salon” (Otago Polytechnic’s Molyneux Restaurant training facility) is open to the public from 8.30am on both days and spectators are welcome to come and enjoy the energy, inspiration and passion of the competitors as they showcase their talent through a variety of skills and techniques.

The judges are all industry professionals from throughout Otago and Southland.

All competition rules, judging and award criteria are in line with New Zealand Culinary Fare standards. Competitors will be marked against strict criteria such as preparation, hygiene, presentation, taste, service, recipe development, correct terminology on written menus and adhering to time restrictions.

The Central Otago Hospitality Department is delighted to host this year’s event with valuable support from sponsors.

“The Southern Lights Salon Culinaire is a fantastic event for both competitors and spectators and is becoming a major drawcard on the South Island’s culinary calendar. It’s always an exciting and entertaining couple of days with plenty of passion and innovation as well as blood, sweat and tears. The aim of the competition is to promote excellence within the industry so we’re hoping for plenty of entries from trainees and experienced restaurateurs this year,” says Programme Manager Jo Brun.

For competition details, times, locations, entry fees and requirements please contact Otago Polytechnic Cromwell Campus on 0800 765 9276 or visit