Top chefs announced as judges for kids cooking competition


A cooking competition aimed at getting primary school kids into the kitchen is coming to Auckland this August.

Competition organisers NZChefs are thrilled to announce that top New Zealand Chef Simon Gault has just been confirmed as a judge for the Kids Can Cook event, alongside MasterChef 2010 winner, Brett McGregor.

Brett believes that fostering a love of cooking in children is important and advises youngsters who are interested in competing to “choose something that you really love to cook and eat. Your passion will show through in your cooking”.

 “Practice making the dishes for your family and friends before the event he says. “And most of all have fun!”

The Kids Can Cook competition is open to children from Year 1 to Year 8 who attend a school in the Auckland Region. 

To enter, children will need to provide a brief description as to why they like cooking, along with the recipes for two dishes they love to make.  Creativity counts and entrants are encouraged to provide photos, drawings, a DVD, booklet, videos or YouTube links – anything that supports their application.

The entries will be judged by a panel of hospitality representatives who will select which children will go forward to the live “Regional Cook Off” at the NZChefs National Salon, at the Logan Campbell Centre on Sunday 2nd of August 2015.

Competitors will need to be prepared to cook both their dishes. The first dish will be cooked in the heats. The second dish in a 30 minute timed cook off, if they make it through to the Regional Grand Final. 

The winner will be crowned Auckland’s “Kids Can Cook” champion and receive a fantastic prize of a family holiday for four people in the Bay of Islands. They will also receive a trophy for their school, which can be kept for one year.

NZChefs President Graham Hawkes says the event is a fantastic opportunity for children to practice their cooking skills, learn from their peers and have the opportunity to watch top level chefs in action in the main kitchen.

For more details about Kids Can Cook and the official competition entry form visit

Entries can be emailed to with ‘Kids Can Cook’ in the subject line or posted to NZChefs, PO Box 24057 Royal Oak, Auckland 1345

All entries must be received by 5pm on Friday 24th July.

Kids Can Cook was first set up by Northland Chefs, a branch of the Not for Profit organisation NZChefs.  After receiving positive feedback from both parents and children about the Northland event, NZChefs decided to include the competition in their four day National Salon.

Visitors to the NZChefs National Salon, which runs from Thursday 30th July to Sunday 2nd August 2015, 8am – 5pm daily, will be able to watch a variety of cooking and hospitality events. From the Nestlé Toque d’Or and City & Guilds team events, to the Auckland Council Secondary School ‘What’s Your Flavour’ burger competition, an 8 hour Global Pastry Chef event, margarine sculpting, molecular gastronomy, waiter races and more!