All the news and past information for the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) and New Zealand Culinary Journey (NZCJ)


NSSCC Newsletter November 2021 (Issue 1)


NSSCC Newsletter November 2021

Dear *|MMERGE6|*


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The Culinary Arts Development Trust launch the 2022 National Secondary School Culinary Challenge [NSSCC].

After two COVID affected years planning is now well underway for the 2022 National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge. As you may be aware, this event is organised by the Culinary Arts Development Trust and managed by our dedicated committee. We’ve run the event since 2014 and do so with the purpose of promoting the next generation of culinary talent, providing career pathways for students into the industry and to foster relationships between secondary schools and the hospitality industry. The NSSCC has been the launch pad for former competitors to enter into the hospitality industry and our alumni are now working in reputable establishments across the globe and helping to shape and influence our hospitality industry. It is something that we are incredibly proud of and made possible only because of the support and assistance that we receive from you.

Following the disruptions of the last two years we have made some key changes to the 2022 event. The finalists will still represent eight geographical regions of New Zealand but will now be selected via a new regional selection criteria.

In previous years we have used live regional qualifying events to select our finalist teams. We’ve discovered that by doing this we were potentially excluding some competitors and schools from entering and that in some case we were also placing a financial barrier in front of teams. In changing to our new selection criteria we have been very careful to ensure that while making the competition more accessible, the integrity of the NSSCC is maintained and that we remain focused on selecting the best regional talent for the final.

The entry criteria is aligned with unit standards, designed to work as a project and we trust that you will find this easier to manage. We will also prepare for the 2022 National Final with a predetermined and transparent COVID contingency to provide certainty to all competitors and teachers. This will mean that if we are unable to host an in-person ‘live’ event, we will select our national winner using a marking schedule and criteria that will be known to all competitors and teachers.

To help you prepare for the 2022 event we will offer further training assistance and guidance to all teams. This will include a dedicated school liaison contact from our committee, managers’ forums for the finalist teams and prizes that foster industry engagement. We want all teams to be well prepared in order to make participation an enjoyable and memorable experience for all involved.

This is an incredibly challenging time for the hospitality industry and events such as NSSCC are more relevant and important than ever. We passionately believe in this event and are supported by a loyal group of sponsors and judges who share this same vision. The hospitality industry is an exciting sector with numerous career pathways available to those that work in it. Thank you for your interest in the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge and we will look forward to seeing your student entries.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing sponsors, 5+ A Day, Bidfood, Moffat, Service IQ, Southern Hospitality, and Waitoa free range chicken. Their continued support allows this event to continue to grow year on year - thank you.

Mark Wylie and Glenn Fulcher
Trustees – Culinary Arts Development Trust

Sponsors update:

Thank you to our loyal and generous sponsors:

Further details regarding the final will be given to teams selected to represent their region at the National Final.

2022 NSSCC

The National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge is an annual event run by the Culinary Arts Development Trust. The competition is designed to promote the next generation of culinary talent, provide career pathways for students and to foster relationships between secondary schools and the hospitality industry. By entering this regional event your team is competing for a place at the National Final where each of the eight regional winning teams will travel to Auckland to participate in a live cook off and experience the New Zealand Culinary Journey the following day.

The National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge 2022

The process:

1. School enters a regional event by 8th July 2022.
2. The eight winning regional school teams announced 25 July 2022.

Regional School winners each receive a prize package worth over $1,000.

3. Regional school finalists compete in NSSCC Grand Final 7th September.
4. Winner announced at NSSCC Awards dinner 7th September.

Prizes worth over $12,000 will be awarded.

The Regional online competition:

A team of two (2) students will produce within 45 minutes, two (2) identical portions of an Entrée with fresh New Zealand grown beetroot as the hero ingredient.
Note – the regional event is an online competition.

The competition is divided into eight (8) regions:

  • Auckland North/Northland

  • Auckland, South, East and West

  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

  • Hawkes Bay/Gisborne

  • Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu

  • Wellington/Wairarapa

  • Tasman/Nelson/Marlborough/Canterbury

  • Otago/Southland/West Coast

Regional event criteria

A team of two (2) students is to develop and produce an Entrée that can be made in 45 minutes.

Two (2) identical portions of this dish must be made and presented in the time frame.

The dish MUST include New Zealand grown beetroot as the hero of the dish. Other fresh or frozen New Zealand grown vegetables may be included.

The following must be completed and loaded to TBC

  1. Teacher and team contact details and media release form.

  2. Photography

- Three photographs of the completed dish- One overhead and two (2) different aspects from a 45⁰ angle.

- A photograph of the students wearing their normal Hospitality class gear or a Chef Jacket

  1. The Entrée recipe and Dish description card typed on the template provided.

  2. Summary sheets [provided] for each student.

For a copy of the Judging criteria or any queries please contact

Unit Standards 28106 and 28107

This competition aligns with Unit Standard 28106. All students could complete and gain 5 credits. Some schools may run a competition and the students gain 28107 and gain another 5 credits. It is the teacher’s responsibility to arrange assessors for these Unit Standards. Further information available from ServiceIQ.

Closing date for regional entries is:

Friday 8th July 2022 - The last day of Term 2

National Final Covid Contingency Plan

If the National Final is cancelled due to Covid restrictions, an Online Awards presentation will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 8th September 2022

All competition information will be loaded onto website January 2022.

The marking of Regional finalists’ entries in the contingency plan

The judging panel will mark the following:

  • The main dish. Marks allocated 40%.

  • The information sent for the regional competition. Marks allocated 30%.

  • Finalist team Zoom meeting with two trustees. Marks allocated 30%.

Awards Presentation

Medals and Certificates to all Finalists. Presentation to Team Managers [Teachers].

Best Main Dish Video.

  • A Moffat E23M3 oven – value $3,500.

Four Scholarships.

  • Equipment Starter Packs valued at $500 to assist four students on their culinary career in 2023.

Winning School.

  • A Moffat E23M3 oven – value $3,500.

  • $1,000 Bidfood Credit to the School account.

Winning Students.

  • Each student receives a $500 Pressie card.

Total prize package over $12,000

Key Dates for 2022

8th July Online Regional Finalists competition entries deadline

25th July Regional Finalists announced

7th September NSSCC National final 1pm

Recipe of the month:

Angie and Pip share some of their favourite recipes using our NSSCC sponsors’ products.

Angie’s Chicken and Leek Bake

Serves 4 - 6


1 Waitoa cooked chicken
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium leek, sliced into rounds
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 head broccoli, sliced into florets
1 cup frozen New Zealand sliced green beans
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken stock
1 tsp grainy mustard
¼ cup runny or sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp water
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


700-800g kūmara, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp nutmeg


Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly spray a large rectangular baking dish [30 cm x 20 cm] with oil.

Slice the cooked Waitoa chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Place kūmara in a saucepan. Cover with water and add a pinch of salt. Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer until soft.

Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot. Add onion, thyme, leek, carrots, broccoli, and beans and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix chicken stock, mustard, and cream together.

Mix flour and water to a smooth paste and add to the stock mixture.

Add to the vegetables and gently bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture has thickened. Stir through the chopped chicken and grated Parmesan.

Drain kūmara, reserving some of the liquid for mashing.

Mash and then whip through the butter and enough of the reserved liquid until moist and soft.

Place chicken and vegetable mixture into the baking dish. Top with the mashed kūmara. Sprinkle with Parmesan and nutmeg.

Place in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until top is lightly golden.

Top Tip: Back to the future - Serve Roasted Waitoa chicken with Granny’s stuffing, remember to use plenty of fresh thyme.

Loaf around [Loaf, Idle, lounge, laze = to spend time doing nothing!]

Load up the Freezer now with a variety of loaves ready to enjoy on some lazy summer days.

Apple oat loaf

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup sultanas
¾ cup sugar
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup canola oil
1 cup rolled oats
1¼ cups wholemeal flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 apples, cored and coarsely grated

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a medium-sized loaf pan, [about 22 cm x 12 cm x 6 cm deep] with baking paper and lightly spray with oil.

Place sultanas, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and cool.

Combine beaten eggs and oil together. In a large bowl, mix the oats, wholemeal flour, baking powder and cinnamon together. Add the grated apple to the dry ingredients and gently mix together.

Pour in the egg mixture and cooled sultana mixture. Stir until just combined then pour (it’s a wet mixture) into the prepared loaf tin and smooth the top. The mixture will fill the tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Leave in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

0ther loaf ideas:

  • Banana loaf

  • Carrot loaf

  • Glazed lemon loaf

  • Courgette and sultana

We look forward to working with you in NSSCC 2022.

Happy Holidays,

Pip Duncan and Angie Wilson
The NSSCC organising team

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