CPIT students stand out in industry bake-off
Broken chocolate eyelashes and uneven mini cakes were among the tension-filled moments experienced by three of CPIT’s talented young bakers who competed in Weston Milling Trainee of the Year last week. Rochelle Drury and Jessica Deng took out second and third after a three hour bake-off final in front of a packed audience at the Fine Foods Show in Auckland, with fellow CPIT competitor Flynn Knowles-Barley only just missing out on one of the top spots.
“Seeing the students come into their own in the final was a very proud moment. It gives me great pleasure knowing that the baking industry is in secure hands with star trainees like these,” School of Food and Hospitality Enterprise Manager Mike Meaclem says.
With only five months formal training behind them, Rochelle, Jessica and Flynn were selected as three of the top nine trainees and apprentices in New Zealand, an impressive achievement in itself. They were then put through their paces at a workshop in Napier where they were given the tasks for the final competition: a Christmas Log, mini cakes, bread and two varieties of pastry.
Jessica Deng, Flynn Knowles-Barley and Rochelle Drury practise in the CPIT Bakery.
After the workshop the real hard yards in the CPIT bakery began, with the students and tutors spending hours upon hours creating and perfecting the competition products. “The students grew so much, learning and mastering new skills that they had not even covered in their classes yet,” Meaclem says.
Competing in the final was inspirational for the promising trainee bakers. “Once we got all our nerves out of the way it was fantastic. It went by in a blur,” Drury says.
Receiving second and third has fuelled Rochelle and Jessica’s passion for baking and all three CPIT competitors are thankful for the opportunity and the experience gained more than anything.
“It was so encouraging to be selected and the support from our CPIT tutors has been amazing. They have taught us everything we know and we have gained a huge amount of knowledge,” says Drury.
Second prize winner Rochelle received $2000 towards training and a subscription to several industry publications. Jessica received $1000 towards training as third prize.