Skip to content

Future hospitality hotshots set to take on Waikato Culinary Fare

Students from across the North Island are preparing to sharpen their knives and their skills at this year’s annual Waikato Culinary Fare.

Wintec’s Centre for Trades, Hospitality Team Manager Joshua Kanara-Bailey at last year's fare.

The annual event, hosted in Hamilton at Wintec’s cutting-edge Rotokauri Campus training facility, showcases the impressive talent of high school, intermediate, and tertiary students. 

The two-day event, starting Thursday, 4 July, provides a grand stage for students to compete in a range of categories, showing off their hospitality abilities. 

It also gives them the opportunity to get a taste of the hospitality courses on offer at Wintec, with cooking, restaurant, barista, and bar courses all on the menu. 

The largest regional competition of its kind in New Zealand, the event expects to attract 400 to 500 attendees this year from all over the motu. 

“It's amazing what these young people do every year with the support of their families, and their teachers, and their schools,” Wintec’s Centre for Trades, Hospitality Team Manager, Joshua Kanara-Bailey said.

There’s plenty to get people excited, from fast-paced live kitchen action to the art of a perfectly curated table setting and hundreds of delicious baked goodies lining the corridors waiting to be judged. This year the corridor will be particularly packed with a record number of cupcake entries – currently around 130 and climbing!

“It’s an amazing corridor to walk down... It’s very creative,” Kanara-Bailey said. 

A selection of entries from last year's Culinary Fare at Wintec's Rotokauri Campus hospitality kitchens

He said a new Celebration Cake category was an exciting way for students to “bake their hearts out and decorate with all the cool and wonderful things you can do”. 

The Live Kitchen Mystery Box event is another fan favourite where competitors are tasked with serving up a main course meal for two using surprise ingredients.

The participants find out what’s in the box, receiving a list of ingredients just an hour out from the event.

Then they only get an hour to prepare, cook, and plate up their creation for the judging panel.

With room for up to 60 cooks in Wintec’s hospitality kitchen, competition is bound to get heated.

Not only is it a great way to end the term on a high, but a great way to introduce budding hospitality professionals to the industry.

Other categories include live pizza, burger and dessert-making events, as well as cafe baking and a savoury pie competition. 

The Waikato Culinary Fare has been held in partnership with Cater Plus since its conception in 2004.

The event will be held at the Wintec Hospitality Centre, L Block, Rotokauri Campus, Hamilton. For more information or to enter the fare, check out the website here.

Wintec is part of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Learn More

Learn with purpose

Explore Te Pūkenga

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Copyright © 2022 Wintec