Celebrating Cauliflower

Wednesday 7 September 2011, 11:33AM
By Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI)

Hospitality students at New Zealand secondary schools have risen to the challenge to celebrate cauliflower, coming up with creative recipes to show off the classic vegetable. The Hospitality Standards Institute (HSI) and set up the culinary competition, stating that cauliflower must be the star of the dish. All vegetables used must be fresh New Zealand grown vegetables.

The dozens of recipes that rolled in for ‘The HSI Junior Hospitality 2011 Challenge Great New Zealand Vegetable Dish’ competition showed just how versatile cauliflower is, and how creative the Year 11-13 students are. The judging panel met last week to select the twelve finalists, chosen from entries sent by schools as far north as Whangarei and as far south as Invercargill.

Commenting on the entries, HSI Chief Executive Steve Hanrahan said, “Displaying the versatile talent of cauliflower was a challenge that the students delivered on. It certainly shows that there are some clever ideas on how to celebrate cauliflower out there.”

The chosen recipes range from a cauliflower cake that includes cinnamon and pineapple, a tasty pickle of cauliflower, kamokamo and horopito and a tower of cauliflower and crab, through to cauliflower and goats cheese parcels and a cauliflower soufflé with blue cheese and nutmeg. One of the most unusual was a cauliflower panna cotta, with blue cheese foam.

The second part of the challenge begins in October, when a professional chef will recreate the finalists’ recipes for the judges to taste and consider. Professional photographs taken of each dish. This will be the main ingredient for a specially designed e-book, available for free download from both HSI’s and’s websites. The announcement of the three place-winners is in early November. The keenly sought first prize is an iPad2, complete with a cookery-relevant app.


  • Decadent Cauliflower Soup with Roasted red Capsicum puree and toasted sunflower seeds: Broghan Lamb, Howick College, Auckland
  • Cauliflower Croquettes: Nico Parry, Southland Boys’ High School, Invercargill
  • Cauliflower Medley: Chanelle Carter, Queens High School, Dunedin
  • Cauliflower Tasting Plate: Rakayla McGartland, Waitaki Girls High School, Oamaru
  • Duo of Cauliflower – Sous Vide Cauliflower with melba toast and pear puree, cauliflower panna cotta and blue cheese foam: Richard Craig, Nelson College, Nelson
  • Cauliflower, Kamokamo and Horopito pickle: Michaela McLoughlin, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori a Rohe o Mangere School, Auckland
  • Spicy Chickpeas and Cauliflower: Cassie Maree Dean , Hamilton Girls High School, Hamilton
  • Cauliflower Cake: Patrick Cook , St Patricks College, Silverstream
  • Cauliflower Soufflé with blue cheese and nutmeg: Andrea Swart, Botany Downs Secondary College, Auckland
  • Cauliflower and Goat’s Cheese Parcels: Roger Whioke, Wainuiomata High School, Wellington
  • Curried Cauliflower with cardamom and mustard, served on yellow rice: Mitchell Fowler, Oxford Area School, Canterbury
  • Manawatu Cauliflower and Foxton Beach crab tower with lemon: Sheila Cagaoan, Palmerston North Girls High School, Palmerston North


For more information, see

For further information or to arrange an interview with the winners or HSI Chief Executive Steve Hanrahan please contact:

Shelley-Maree Cassidy, Marketing Manager, HSI, on DDI (04) 802 8725 │ M (021) 283 0951


Note: HSI is the industry training organisation for hospitality, and also works with school hospitality teachers to encourage future stars into the industry. promotes the taste and inspiration of fresh grown New Zealand vegetables. They provide a wide range of printed material, covering meal and recipe ideas, cooking vegetables, advice on healthy eating and nutrition, for school projects, teachers, chefs, educators and produce retailers