Local talent competes for global experience

Thursday 7 July 2011, 4:35PM
By Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI)

Several of New Zealand’s top hospitality apprentices are busy practising their skills now, getting ready for a competition to win a trip to London or to Melbourne, and the opportunity to work in some world-renowned restaurants. They are this year’s finalists in the hotly contested HSI Modern Apprentice of the Year competition.

The annual competition is organised by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI), and will see thirteen Modern Apprentices, aged 15 – 18 years, and chosen from all around the country, competing in the prestigious event. It is one of the events that showcases HSI’s commitment to growing talent in New Zealand hospitality.

The finalists will display their creativity and hospitality skills while going head-to-head against their fellow competitors for the top honours. The competition is now only a few days away, on Tuesday July 19th, at the ASB Show Grounds in Ellerslie, as part of the national Culinary Fare.

The Food and Beverage finalists include Jared Svedlund from Auckland’s French Café; Faitasia Samuela of the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Auckland Airport; Brie Murdoch from the Hilton Hotel, Auckland; Rachael Hart of Rydge’s Hotel, Rotorua, and from the far South, Monique Rose Rutene of Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau.

The Apprentice chefs from the North Island are Andrew Masden from the Domaine Restaurant in Hamilton; Lisa Yeoman of Roquette Restaurant, Whakatane; Richard Manks of Rotorua’s Rydges Hotel, and Aidin King from Abode Café, Wellington. These four will be competing in the cookery competition with the South Island four - Ashley Baty from The Hermitage, Mt Cook; Brendan Baucke of Copthorne Hotel and Resort in Queenstown; Elliott Pinn of the George Hotel, Christchurch, and Jasper Broadkolff of Hopgoods Restaurant in Nelson.

The NZ-UK Link Foundation, an organisation offering exchanges to link New Zealand and the United Kingdom, sponsors the Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year competition. The apprentice chefs will go head-to-head to design a three-course menu, based on a surprise box of ingredients provided on the day, and then cook to that menu within three hours.

The winner gains a four-week work experience in England, organised by Kiwi restaurateur Peter Gordon, including time in his iconic London restaurant, The Providores, and a total of $5000 towards airfares and expenses.

Southern Hospitality Ltd, New Zealand’s largest hospitality and food service equipment supply company, is the sponsor of the Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year competition. The competitors set and serve a table, then serve their guests a three-course set menu including a silver service main, then compete in a wine evaluation challenge. The winner will receive a trip to the 2012 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, with $1,500 towards flights and accommodation.

HSI Chief Executive Steve Hanrahan says the competition is a great training ground for a career in hospitality. “These competitors are honing key skills, such as thinking on their feet and working under pressure, which helps them enormously in their future hospitality careers,” he says.

The winners are named at the Culinary Fare prize giving on the same evening, Tuesday 19th July.

The competition finalists are:

Southern Hospitality Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year:

  • Faitasia Samuela – Hotel Grand Chancellor, Auckland Airport
  • Brie Murdoch – Hilton Hotel, Auckland
  • Monique Rose Rutene – Fiordland Lodge, Te Anau
  • Jared Svedlund – The French Café, Auckland
  • Rachael Hart – Rydges Hotel, Rotorua

NZ-UK Link Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year:


  • Andrew Masden – Domaine Restaurant, Hamilton
  • Aidin King – Abode Café, Wellington
  • Ashley Baty – The Hermitage, Mt Cook
  • Brendan Baucke – Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown
  • Elliott Pinn – The George Hotel, Christchurch
  • Jasper Broadkolff – Hopgoods Restaurant, Nelson
  • Lisa Yeoman – Roquette Restaurant, Whakatane
  • Richard Manks - Rydges Hotel, Rotorua