Elliott Pinn of The George Hotel in Christchurch and Monique Rutene of Fiordland Lodge in Te Anau, showed they have what it takes to become future industry stars after being
named New Zealand’s top hospitality apprentices in the national annual Hospitality Standards Institute Modern Apprentice of the Year competition.
Organised by the Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI), the fast-paced national
competition saw eight selected apprentice chefs and five selected food and beverage
apprentices compete for their respective Modern Apprentice of the Year titles in
Elliott was named winner of the prestigious NZ-UK Link Foundation Cookery Modern Apprentice of the Year, while Monique, won the Southern Hospitality Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year, awarded at the National Culinary Fare in Auckland, Tuesday 19th July.
As winner of the NZ-UK Link Foundation award, Elliott receives a four-week work
experience placement in England organised by famed Kiwi restaurateur Peter Gordon,
including a week in Gordon’s popular London restaurant, The Providores, and a grant to cover travel and living expenses.
The competition required that Elliott and his fellow cookery apprentices design a three-course menu based on a mystery box of ingredients given to each of them on the day, to be cooked within three hours. His winning menu was a sole boudin cauliflower with warm mussel salad, followed by roast free-range corn-fed chicken, pumpkin puree, vegetable textures and feta croquette. For dessert, Elliott went for dark chocolate marquise, with shortbread crumble and a spiced coconut sorbet.
The Southern Hospitality Food and Beverage Modern Apprentice of the Year competition
was also fiercely contested, with competitors setting and serving a table of guests a
three-course set menu including a silver service main, then competing in a blind wine
As New Zealand’s top Food and Beverage apprentice, Monique receives a trip to the 2012 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, with $1,500 towards flights and accommodation. She scored particularly well in the blind wine-tasting section of the competition.
HSI Chief Executive Steve Hanrahan says the high standard of the competition and
entrants indicates the strong future of New Zealand hospitality. “The competitors have
worked extremely hard to prepare for this event and are a great example of the talented,
passionate young people that will go far in the hospitality industry,” he says.
As the hospitality industry’s training organisation (ITO), HSI leads access to training and
qualifications for the hospitality industry including overseeing, supervising, assisting and
reviewing all nationally recognised training for the five sectors of the hospitality - accommodation, clubs, cafes, bars & restaurants, food services and quick service restaurants.
HSI also provides support and guidance to schools, polytechnics and providers that teach
and assess Unit Standards through hospitality courses.
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 Madsen – 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 Broad-Kolff – Hopgoods Restaurant, Nelson
• Lisa Yeoman – Roquette Restaurant, Whakatane
• Richard Manks of Rotorua’s Rydges Hotel