Cooking Competition 2019


Fry pans ready! Eye on Nature's Cooking Competition is back for 2019!

During the Family Day, budding chefs will demonstrate their skills in the 'Friend or foe' cooking competition, with high school students competing 'Masterchef' style watched-on by the judges and public. 

This is an exciting opportunity for secondary students to come together in a fun and creative cooking event as you prepare an innovative family meal!

The theme for the meals is Friend or Foe, and students will be generously given Duck from “Quack a Duck” and kumara to use both in the final trial and at the actual event itself.    

Check out these images from previous Eye on Nature Cooking Competitions below: 


Pre-registration is required, with only ten to twelve schools able to compete. Please register by 1 March 2019, but this is a first-come, first-served registration process.

Please note that we can only allow one team per school initially, but should there be spaces available after the 1 March 2019 ,registration closing date then we will get back in touch with you should you have indicated you would like to enter more than one team.

Competition Details:

A team consisting of 2 chefs are to prepare a FOUR (4) portions of a “main” dish only - in one (1) hour      (No starters/ entrée or desserts).

Any ingredients may be used, but the following protein and vegetable must be present in the dish or as part of the garnish.

•   Duck           • Kumara

Competitors are to supply their own cooking implements, ingredients and presentation dishes

Each group will prepare and cook their dishes in front of a public audience and their dishes will be judged by industry professionals from both AUT and MIT.

Dishes will also be sampled by the audience (using forks/dishes provided by the Trust).

A kitchen bench with a three ring gas burner, sink and trestle table will be provided, schools need to bring their own electrical appliances.

Downloadable Documents:

Health & Safety:

  • Disposable gloves must be used throughout demonstration/competition
  • Shelter all food from sun and overhead contaminants, including all food preparation and storage areas
  • Competitors need to provide a large chilly bin and ice packs for food storage at the event – the Trust will assist with this, if requested
  • All meat and/or poultry must be stored in separate sealed containers
  • At this time of the year, insects are a major problem – ensure all food is appropriately covered to protect from flies or insects
  • All food and cooking utensils must be clean and in good condition
  • All serving/presentation dishes must be in clean and in good condition
  • Competitors must wear suitable clothing and ‘closed in’ footwear throughout the demonstration – there is no need to wear chef’s uniforms.
  • Schools to wear their own cooking attire to reflect your school. 
  • Tea towels will be provided by the Trust
  • Head gear in the form of a hat or hair net must be worn by competitors
  • First aid kits will be available on site
  • All food waste to be disposed of in the composting/rubbish bins provided

Judging Criteria:

There will be a strong emphasis on creativity and originality in our 2019 Cooking Competition. We want to ensure that this is a real opportunity for students to shine, so the scoring will be more weighted towards innovation, with less weight on technical skills.

Here is what the Judges will be looking for:

  • 10% Presentation
  • 10% Composition and Originality
  • 40% Taste and Flavour
  • 20% Professional Practice
  • 20% Work and Technical Methods



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Auckland, New Zealand