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


NSSCC Newsletter May 2022 (Issue 3)


NSSCC Newsletter May 2022

Dear *|FNAME|*

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A message from the Trustees

We are now well under way with the roll out of our 2022 National Secondary Culinary Challenge (NSSCC) regional competitions. It has been fantastic to see the high level of interest that we’ve had across the country and after two years of covid-enforced disruptions we are all looking forward to this year’s event. We’re incredibly fortunate to have the continued support of both our sponsors and the network of secondary school culinary students and teachers.

In the last newsletter we explained the extensive work done to ensure that our regional events can be held as an online competition whilst maintaining the culinary credibility of the event. Over the last few weeks we have produced webinars outlining the entry and judging processes to ensure that all entrants are as well-informed and prepared as possible. If you were unable to attend these I encourage you to watch the recording mentioned below. It gives a thorough overview and provides insight as to how the event is judged and also offers guidance on how to put your entries together.

As we enter the early stages of post-covid industry recovery, this competition is more important than ever. Our goal is to promote career pathways for students looking to enter the industry and to foster networks and contacts for the talented teachers who work in our secondary schools. Although there are still significant challenges ahead of us, the New Zealand hospitality industry will evolve and will look to events such as NSSCC for their future employees. This will mean some great opportunities for competitors.

Good luck with your entries and please feel free to contact us through our website if you have any event-related questions. We will respond to these directly. We plan to develop a Q & A for the website, to share with other teachers/team managers

Nga mihi

Mark Wylie & Glenn Fulcher
Trustees – Culinary Arts Development Trust


Thank you to all our wonderful sponsors for making the competition possible
we really appreciate your continued support and loyalty

Teacher Webinars - Term 1

NSSCC Regional Webinar updates for all teachers

Thank you to all the teachers/team managers who took the time to tune in to the March/April seminars. We trust that you got value and saw how the entry process is going to work. It’s not that hard, is it?

click ‘Watch’ below for those who missed it or would like to view:

WATCH Teachers Webinar

Key Dates: Term 2, 2022

  • 8th July – Online Regional Competition entries close

  • 25th July – Regional Finalists announced

  • 7th September – NSSCC National Final. Details to be confirmed with regional winners.

The Competition Pathway – the Journey, the Rewards, and Why?

By Renny Aprea

‘it’s not about being better than someone else
it’s about being better than you were the day before.’

Ferran Adria (famous Spanish Chef)

Why would you want to be different, set yourself up for more training sessions, more trials, more changes, more practice, more refining, more, more, more? Well it’s better than golf or rugby because you can’t eat the balls they use, and it’s better than running… chewing on an old sneaker is not that appetising and neither is endless hours of cycling...

Now if you compete in a culinary competition… yes, you have to do a heck of a lot of training, but you get to taste everything you create until you almost burst.

To pit yourself against your peers is something we’ve done forever and this competition will test you, set you apart, and give you rewards beyond your dreams should you be crowned an overall winner.

A bit like our Olympic champions; effort = reward.

Reward waits, and if you have the mind-set and desire to achieve and realise your culinary dreams, then this is as good a start as you can wish for.

And if you don’t get the winner’s title, never mind. Those men and women walking around with clipboards are your possible future employers. They are like talent scouts looking for the next young ones they want to help and mentor on the greatest journey you may take. It won’t even cost much… just hard work, dedication, determination and desire… but new friendships and connections, possibilities, and doors opening await you.

Are you ready to put on the Chefs jacket….? If so, your career and the world is waiting for you.

Looking to enter the regional events?

Check out the Online Regional Competition details HERE

Hopefully by now you are well underway with your entries. Remember to email us at any time with your questions.

How to Photograph your dishes

As this year’s Regional Competition is being submitted online, it is important that you take photographs that show your students’ dish to its best advantage.

The shot taken from directly above (birds eye view) allows the judges to see how the food has been arranged on the plate and the symmetry that has been created. Two 45 degree angle photos are to be taken, one from the front and one from the back of the dish. This gives the judges three different perspectives of the dish your students have created.

It is essential to get the light correct. Too much light and it will take away from the dish. Not enough light and the judges may not be able to make out specific aspects of the dish. Natural light generally works best.

At least one of the photos should show the food within the rim or edge of the plate so the judges can see how the students have positioned the food on the dish. A plain or single coloured plate is the best way to highlight the food.

Need more information on beetroot?

Beetroot is our recipe hero in 2022. Looking for other seasonal produce to compliment the dish visit:

5 Plus A Day:

Beetroot comes in more than just RED

Check with your local Bidfood supplier to see what fresh NZ grown vegetables are available in your region.

Resource Ideas to help your students start planning their dishes

Films and series we have come across

With online learning now an ingrained part of your teaching and learning, there is never-ending pressure to engage and inspire your students. Here are a few ideas we have come across that you might like to investigate.

The Hundred-Foot Journey – available to watch on Netflix or Apple TV. A tale about an extraordinarily talented and largely self-taught culinary novice who leaves India to open an eatery in the south of France – across the road from an acclaimed Michelin Star Restaurant.

Julia (2022 TV Series) This is a television series based on the life of chef Julia Child. There are eight episodes, each focusing on a different aspect of her cooking journey, beginning with the humble ‘Omelette’ in episode 1. This started on Prime TV in NZ on April 7. Prime is available to stream on Freeview in NZ.

Shout Out to Our Sponsors

Our sponsors are who make this competition possible for your students. Please keep them in mind and use their products and resources as much as possible.

Recipes using some of our sponsors products:

If you have not looked at the website, you don’t know what you are missing. There are links to Teacher Resources and heaps of other great recipes as well. The recipe link below includes links to a variety of different green vegetables. Your students can click on these to read about the vegetable. There is also a nutritional breakdown of the Greens Galore dish.

1 Tbsp canola oil
2-3 cups mixed green vegetables
1-2 cups roughly chopped leafy green vegetables
3 Tbsp finely chopped herbs (e.g. coriander, chives, parsley, basil, marjoram, mint, dill)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Suggested mixed green vegetables: quartered Brussels sprouts, chopped green beans, deseeded and sliced green capsicums, broccoli florets, sliced celery, finely sliced leeks, chopped asparagus.

Suggested leafy green vegetables: silverbeet, spinach, Asian greens, cabbage




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