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Major gold medal triumph over temperature for WelTec Chef

WelTec Tutor Scott CampbellA gold medal win at a major international cooking competition will open new doors for Wellington Institute of Technology tutor Scott Campbell.

Mr Campbell from Petone has taken out the Pacific Rim Challenge with fellow New Zealand Culinary Team member Alisdair Bennet, which was held in Port Vila, Vanuatu this month.

The pair conquered high temperatures and extreme humidity to take out the award over four other teams from Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Guam.
“The hardest part was working with hot ovens in the marquee in 37 degrees with up to 100 per cent humidity,” Mr Campbell says.

He is ecstatic about the win especially as he was only brought in as the senior chef member of the team when another chef was unable to compete. “I was asked due to my experience coaching WelTec’s student teams in the Toque d ‘Or competition, which we have won the past two years, and also for my other competition experience,” Mr Campbell says.

The decision paid off as Mr Campbell, who has been teaching at WelTec for 12 years, can now move onto becoming one of three World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) A Grade judges in New Zealand. This will mean he will be permitted to judge at international competitions. The Pacific Rim Challenge was developed by the WACS, now the second largest trade association in the world, Mr Campbell says.

“There will be exciting things to come,” says Mr Campbell. He believes the win will further strengthen WelTec’s Hospitality programme. “Students are able to be taught by tutors who have relevant experience and it’s great for establishing hospitality industry connections.”

Mr Campbell puts the win down to fabulous food and great team work. “Alisdair and I worked extremely well together, seeing as we only met three weeks prior to the competition and were only able to practise once.” 

Teams had to endure four hours of judging each day, the first presenting 48 covers of hot and cold canapés reflecting their country of origin.  The second day of competition was the creation of an entrée, main and dessert for 12 covers.

Mr Campbell took their ingredients for the first day of competition over to Vanuatu in chilli bins with food permits. However, all teams were provided with a set list of ingredients on the second day.

Scott Campbell is available for interview. Permission is given to use attached photograph.

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