Parua Bay School pair win Root To Tip cooking competition

Parua Bay School pair win Root To Tip cooking competition

Holly Patterson and Madyson Picard from Parua Bay School, Northland have been crowned New Zealand’s Root to Tip cooking competition winners, from more than 400 years five and six school pupils who entered this year’s competition.

Head judge Al Brown, says the winning dishes of a veggie patch burger with ribbon fries and sweet and spice apple delight, were “bold in flavour, presented beautifully, and left next to no food wastage in its preparation,” which were all key factors in deciding the competition winners.

Root to Tip winning dish

Run by Garden to Table, with the support of RaboDirect, the Root to Tip competition challenged years five and six school pupils from around New Zealand to grate, slice, cook, create and plate a meal from ‘root to tip’, leaving little or no food waste. The competition with a twist, aims to encourage children to get creative in the kitchen, while tackling the serious issue of food wastage.

The students were required to source their produce locally from family, community or school gardens, and turn it into a creative, delicious two-course, vegetable-based meal, which was judged by local chefs for taste and the amount of food wasted.

The event saw 20 competition finalists flown from around New Zealand to cook in front of judges Al Brown, Catherine Bell co-founder of Garden to Table and Paul Cording from RaboDirect at Weltec Wellington, following their recent successes in winning the regional heats held around the country.

Al Brown says the competition helps people of all ages understand where their food comes from, how to make the most of available ingredients and reduce food wastage.

“Root to Tip gave children an opportunity to learn important skills they can take into adulthood, from growing, cultivating and cooking food to learning about how to stretch ingredients further. Witnessing the creativity, skills and genuine talent of these budding chefs as they’ve taken part in this challenge has been inspiring.”

Just spent the day helping judge 'Garden To Table' 'Root To Tip' competition. Inspiring stuff from these 9 & 10 year olds. @gardentotablenz

A post shared by Al Brown (@albrownchef) on

Hamish McKegg, Head of RaboDirect, the competition’s major sponsor, says Root to Tip gives children the skills to tackle food wastage in New Zealand in a fun and interactive way.

“We want to help teach Kiwi kids and their families that it is possible to reduce the amount of food we throw away with just a few easy tips and tricks that change the way we cook at home.”

Executive Officer of Garden to Table Linda Taylor says the Root to Tip competition aims to change the way children approach food and food wastage.

“Not only do children learn vital day-to-day skills, but they get to go home and share their knowledge with their families and friends. We know that by inspiring kids to grow and cook good food and reduce food wastage we also reach a wider group of Kiwis.”

The winning pupils will each receive a $1,000 NoticeSaver account with RaboDirect, plus one-year free membership to the Garden to Table programme for their school and a range of other kitchen items.