Kids cook for success in the Kitchen Showdown final
The final of the 2014 MAGGI Kitchen Showdown took place at Whitebait TV studios in Christchurch, New Zealand. Teams we’re flown in from all over New Zealand to cook a balanced family meal for four people for under $20. The winners would take home the cheque for $5000 for their school.
This year before the teams could start cooking they had to do a bit of filming for the 4:30 show. I think that everyone was surprised how many takes were required to just film them walking into the studio!
Then with the acting over it was time for Barton Rural school – with one man down – Palmerston North and Sancta Maria college to use the next fifty minutes to cook and present their meals and for one team to take out the title of MAGGI Kitchen Showdown champs for 2014.
It was unusual to see two teams cooking salmon, but also worth noting that with portion sizes of around 150g, salmon can form part of a family meal for under $20. The fresh balance of these meals appealed to nutrition nut, Rose Keddell, member of the New Zealand, Black Sticks hockey squad, and guest judge for the final.
Each team was feeling the pressure but there was no doubt that it was more intense for Barton Rural, who despite having only three team members still managed to prepare perfectly cooked salmon on a sensational risotto, but unfortunately they struggled to serve up everything on time which meant that they would be unable to take out the title. So that left us to decide between Palmerston North who had won in a previous year with another team and Sancta Maria.
The judging was the hardest it has ever been, not that it has ever been easy.
We had a lot of debate about a 2 minute noodle waffle, because although there was no doubt it demonstrated great creativity and technique, we couldn’t decide if it added anything to the meal?
Finally all three judges reached a consensus that the beef stir fry, presented in a tipped over take away box, really delivered amazing fresh flavours, excellent portion control and a good balance of vegetables, carbs and protein. That’s why the girls from Sancta Maria are this years winners.
Congratulations to all teams that made it through to the regional finals and a massive thanks to the parents and teachers who volunteered their time and taste buds to help make 2014 another great year for kids cooking.