House Cook Off competition comes to a tasty finish


Teachers and staff were the big winners Thursday lunch time, when they got to judge the delicious results of the inaugural Nayland College House Cook Off.

A new initiative this year, the competition challenged students to plan a  vegetarian meal for four people with a budget of around $25.

Every entry received a house point. Two recipes from each house were then  chosen to go head to head in the finals where teams of four students made and served their dish to 25 lucky teachers and staff. The competitors were ably supported by senior hospitality students who acted as wait staff. 

Teams from each house prepare the food to be served. — Image by: Duncan McKinlay

After dining, the judges filled in a form, giving marks for each dish for their taste, presentation and creativity. The marks will be tallied and a winner will be announced in next Tuesday’s assembly. 

Staff members judged the competition — Image by: Duncan McKinlay

The occasion marked the opening of the Manaaki Café, which sees a classroom get temporarily converted into a working restaurant, allowing hospitality students a practical way to demonstrate their skills.

Dishes included such tasty treats as black bean burgers with kumara fries and minced vegetable pockets. Diners were also treated to a selection of delicious cheeses from Little River Cheese, who helped sponsor the initiative along with East Street Cafe, Raeward Fresh, Oakland’s Milk and Trents Wholesalers. 

Nayland Hospitality tutor and instigator of the event, Matt Robinson, hoped the competition would inspire both teachers and students to explore foods which were healthy, sustainable for the planet, and delicious.

All recipes that were entered into the event, have been collated at

By Duncan McKinlay