Perfect Patisserie Under Scrutiny!

June 07, 2017 at 9:01 AM

Seemingly simple, yet deceptively challenging, our NCEA Level 2 Food Technology students were set the task of masterfully creating a perfect tart – not any tart, but Marco Pierre White’s version of the Roux Brothers’ classic Tarte au Citron! 

Described by Felicity Cloak in The Guardian as ‘…elegant rather than fussy, with a silky, zingy filling encased in thin, delicate pastry. A rare ray of sunshine in these darkening autumn days,’ the students certainly had their work cut out for them! 

No pressure, but in true JPC fashion, the challenge was cranked up by putting the practical component of their internal assessment under public scrutiny! Each student’s Tarte au Citron was presented at a ‘Best in Show’ evening last week with guest judges from industry, along with Principal Senior College, Mrs Suzanne Winthrop representing the College. This was the first time that this assessment has culminated in a competition, making it very motivating and competitive for the students and teachers alike!

British chef, restaurateur, and television personality, Marco Pierre White has become a household name as the ‘enfant terrible’ of a plethora of ‘Masterchef’ style shows in recent years. If our students are to succeed in their patisserie assignment, they need to truly master the art of pastry. In the words of Marco, 'Why is Pastry so important? Because it is all about science and the knowledge of culinary science is vital. A precise measurement of this ingredient mixed with a certain amount of that ingredient produces this result. It's chemistry.’ 

So which of our students created the best chemistry – the perfect pastry topped with the perfect filling? Our judges for the evening had the best job in the world! Taking tiny samples from 25 delicious tarts to make their final judgement were Old Collegian, Alex Southwick, who is now half way through his chef apprenticeship at Skycity, Tracey Baird, one of the owners of the City Cake Company, former chef and current Techology teacher, Ms Jo Horgan and Mrs Winthrop. 

Meanwhile, the same Level 2 students are also working towards a Hospitality qualification in Barista Skills. They have been running our espresso bar in the Goodfellow Centre before school and at lunchtimes since the start of the year and the coffee quality is greatly improved. The College now has accreditation to assess Hospitality standards to Level Two and we have introduced some relevant standards at senior levels to enhance the food experience offered. Whilst the judging got underway, our baristas were busy turning out perfect coffees for visitors to the show. 

Once tasted and compared, the winners were announced. Congratulations to the following students for passing scrutiny and being named as Saint Kentigern’s perfect patisseurs!

1st Charlize Milne
2nd Gareth Lacey
3rd Gemma Fuller

Highly Commended
George Beggs, Olivia Eskrigge, Bella Thornton, Jono Low, Anton Nichols

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