Notre Dame College Year 11 students Gabriella Pigatto and Hayley Tidd took out this year’s Murray River Culinary Challenge, held at Shepparton’s GoTafe recently.
The pair will go on to compete in the grand final in a few weeks’ time at Swan Hill after winning the regional competition, organised by Goulburn Murray Local Learning Employment Network.
Students from several schools throughout the Goulburn Valley took part in the challenge in pairs. They were required to cook an entree, main and dessert.
Notre Dame College VET Hospitality trainer Karen Norton said the students got the chance to learn extra industry skills that linked with the training methods they had implemented.
‘‘It also gives them a sense of pressure in the workplace,’’ she said.
She said the win recognised the hard work the students had put in, having to first compete at a school level to be selected for the challenge.
Judge Brett Dobson said the standard had been really good and the students showed great technique as well as working well under pressure. ‘‘We judge across a whole lot of criteria,’’ he said. Students were judged on their preparation and back work as well as the final dishes.
Students were required to cook a spinach and feta quiche with baby beet leaf salad for entree, prosciutto-wrapped chicken breast stuffed with potato cake and salsa verde for main and a chocolate fondant with raspberry coulis and fresh berries for dessert.
Winners Gabriella and Hayley said they had just hoped to cook well and were now nervously looking forward to representing the region at Swan Hill.
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