NSSCC 2023 Competitor Guidelines

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 foster relationships between secondary schools and the hospitality industry. By entering this regional event teams are competing for a place in the National Grand Final. Each of the eight regional competition 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 2023

The process:

  • The ONLINE regional event opens for Schools to enter on 12th June 2023 and the competition closes on 30th June 2023

  • The eight winning regional school teams will be announced on 17th July 2023

  • Regional school winners each receive a prize package worth over$1,000 and qualify for the NSSCC National Grand Final.

  • Regional school finalists compete in the NSSCC National Grand Final 23rd August 2023.

  • Winners are announced at the NSSCC Awards dinner on 23rd August. Prizes worth over $10,000 will be awarded.

  • Enter the online Regional events - see below.

  • Log on to Facebook and search for NSSCC – National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge. Like us, and then follow updates or posts that assist with the journey to entering the online Regional competition.

The competition will be divided into eight (8) regions. The regions are shown below.


- Auckland - North / Northland (Schools North of Habour Bridge 

- Auckland - South, East and West Schools

- Waikato / Bay of Plenty Schools

- Poverty Bay / Hawkes Bay (includes Gisborne Schools)

- Taranaki / Whanganui / Manawatu Schools

- Wellington / Wairarapa (and Kapiti Coast) Schools

- Tasman / Nelson / Marlborough / Canterbury Schools

- Otago / Southland / West Coast Schools

Entering the Online Regional Events

A winning team will be chosen from each region. This team will represent their school and region at the NSSCC LIVE National Grand Final.

For this reason, on entering the online regional event, the team and school commit to attending the final in Auckland.

Regional Online Event Criteria

  • A Team of two (2) students is to develop, produce and present an Entrée dish that can be made in 45 minutes.

  • Two (2) identical portions of this dish must be able to be made within the 45-minute time frame.

  • The dish MUST include New Zealand grown Cauliflower as the principal component of the dish.  It can also include other New Zealand grown fresh or frozen vegetables, as long as Cauliflower is the hero of the dish. Protein ingredients can also be included.

  • Once the dish is mastered it will need to be photographed. Three (3) photographs are required. One (1) from above and two (2) different ones from a 45⁰ angle.

  • The recipe for the Entrée is to be typed up on the template provided on the NSSCC website.

  • A Description Card that briefly explains the Entrée to be typed up on the template provided on our website.

  • The Team is to complete the competitor questionnaire sheet included in the entry pack.

  • A photograph is required of the Team members and the Teacher. Students should, if possible, be wearing a Chef’s Jacket as this photograph may be required for media use. Students will be required to sign a media release clause on the entry form.

  • Ensure all documents, photos are labeled with the name of the school.

  • Ensure you review your entry before clicking submit. 

ONLINE Entries open on 12th June 2023 
The closing date for regional entries is: 30th June 2023

Judging of regional online entries

Judging will take place over the two (2) week school term break.

Regional entries will be judged according to the Judges’ schedule that can be requested from info@nsscc.co.nz.

Make sure this is read carefully so that teams are aware of how entries will be judged, as this may influence the development and production of the Entrée.

Winners of each region will be announced on: 

17th July 2023

Regional winners’ prize package:

  • The selected winners from each region will receive the following to assist with preparation for the National Grand Final in Auckland:

  • A $500 Credit from Bidfood will be added to the school Bidfood Account to assist with the purchase of ingredients for training. If the school does not have a Bidfood account this can be organised.

  • A $300 Restaurant Association voucher so the Team and their Teacher can go out to dinner as part of research towards developing their dishes for the Final.

  • The two (2) students and their teacher will receive a Chef Jacket to wear for the National Grand Final.

  • Online tutorial with the Head Judge to help with training and preparation for the final. July – August 2023

  • A subsidy towards travel to Auckland if required (TBC)

  • Accommodation for the Team and their Teacher for one or two nights depending on their region.

  • Three tickets to the NSSCC Awards Dinner following the National Grand Final.

Teacher/Team Manager Webinar

We recently hosted two online Webinars for Teacher/Team managers of teams entering the online regional competition. The content was the same at both seminars.

Please click on the button below to view the final Webinar recording. 

Please USE THESE Templates for your 2023 entry

NSSCC Dish Description

Please download and use this menu card for your regional online entry

NSSCC Recipe Template

Please download and use the Recipe & Methods Card for your regional online entry.

NSSCC Regional Questionnaire

Please down load the Regional Questionnaire for your online regional entry


Please click below to use our online entry form

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