Four top chefs win Fonterra awards, and a trip to Melbourne

Press Release – Fonterra Foodservices
The crème de la crème of New Zealand’s young chefs were celebrated at an event in Auckland tonight. Four top trainee chefs have been announced winners of the 2011 Fonterra Foodservices Proud to be a Chef competition.

They are:
• Lyle Robertson from Auckland who studies at AUT and works at Euro restaurant
• William Mordido from Auckland who studies and works at SKYCITY Auckland
• Zac Saunders from Lower Hutt who studies at WelTec and works at Gusto Bistro
• Zane Neutroski from Christchurch who studies at Christchurch Polytechnic and works at The George Hotel’s Pescatore restaurant

Each takes away an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne where they will meet Australia’s best trainee chefs to compete for an international culinary sponsorship valued at $7,500, tailored to the winner’s aspirations for their professional career as a chef.

The trip includes three nights hotel accommodation, hands-on mentoring, master classes with world leading chefs and three nights dining at award winning restaurants.

The winners were selected after 10 of the country’s most creative and passionate finalists met in Auckland to cook an original recipe they had created in an effort to show the highly esteemed judging panel how they handled the heat of the kitchen.

The cook off was judged by top chefs Michael Meredith (Merediths, 2011 Cuisine Restaurant of the Year winner), Tony Astle (Antoine’s), Geoff Scott (Vinnies) and Brenda Tweddell from Fonterra Foodservices.

Stephanie Hague, Marketing Manager for Fonterra Foodservices explains that Proud to be a Chef was set up as a way to publically recognise and reward the vital contribution that chefs make to the industry.

“It provides our up-and-coming culinary stars with the necessary skills, resources and mentoring they need to take their career to the next level,” she adds.

“Fonterra is proud to champion this event which is now recognised as one of the most prestigious chef mentoring programmes in this part of the world. We wish all our finalists the best as they progress through their careers, but special congratulations must go to our four winners who have a very exciting time ahead of them at the Australasian Proud to be a Chef final in Melbourne next year.”

The judges were looking for a mix of passion and ambition along with an interesting and successful recipe.

Judge Brenda Tweddell said the standard of cooking was excellent and the judging panel commended each of the finalists for putting on a tough competition.
“We were treated to some innovative and exciting dishes from young chefs who had put a lot of effort into their creations. It is a credit to their respective training organisations for nurturing artistic chefs who are of great benefit to the industry.”

Entrants were required to send an application outlining what inspired them to pursue a career as a chef, what they would do if they won the grand prize, and an original recipe which incorporated a Fonterra Brands product or products in some way.

See the table below for the winning dishes or visit

Winners and Dishes

Name Location Training Organisation / Workplace Dish
Lyle Robertson Auckland AUT / Euro Restaurant Scampi tortellini with a baby pea mousse and a boublanc sauce
William Mordido Auckland SKYCITY Auckland Limited Vanilla panna cotta with raspberry gelee, served with cinnamon sable, Chantilly cream and blueberry coulis, finished with white chocolate and white peach
Zac Saunders Lower Hutt WelTec / Gustro Bistro Steamed tuatua salad with reserved lemon and wakame leaves, smoked mussel bon bons, lemon mayonnaise
Zane Neutroski Christchurch Christchurch Polytechnic / Pescatore – The George Hotel Goat’s cheese cheesecake

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