Kiwi chef asked onto Culinary Olympic stage by Australians
Top Kiwi pastry chef Corey Hume has been invited to join the Australian National Culinary Olympic team who take on the world at next month's World IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany.
The only New Zealander ever invited to join the Australian team at the most prestigious of all global culinary competitions, Hume from Outrigger at Clearwater Resort, Christchurch leaves for Frankfurt next week to start preparations with his trans-Tasman team members.
New Zealand has been unable to fund its own national team to take part in the costly event, attended by more than 1,000 cooks and confectioners worldwide, since 1988 so this opportunity is a huge career boost for the 27 year old Cantabrian.
"To be invited to join this team and compete for them is a dream come true," he says.
"For years I have been encouraged by past mentors to attend the World IKA Culinary Olympics and despite the fact that I've only been cooking for seven years, I see this as a fantastic opportunity to learn and compare my level of skills against some of the best chefs in the World," adds Hume.
Corey was talent-spotted by the Australians at last year's West Australia Oceana Fest contest where he helped the NZ Culinary Team to victory as their pastry chef.
He has spent the past seven months training, both here and with team-mates in Australia. The long, arduous sessions have helped Hume perfect his desserts in conditions similar to the World IKA Culinary Olympics requiring great skills, endurance, strong discipline and supreme technical ability.
Hume has a strong background in culinary competition - for the past two years he has been a member, and more recently a mentor, of the Masterfoods-sponsored New Zealand Culinary Team (NZCT).
"Having the role as mentor for the NZCT has taught me a great deal, including communication, patience and management skills. I've enjoyed having the responsibility and ability to guide some very talented young up and coming Kiwi chefs," added Hume.
NZCT Business Manager, Gary Miller, who was a senior chef to Hume when he began his career at the Christchurch Casino says this is an exciting time for Corey.
"He will be able to see and experience first hand what it takes to compete with over 1,000 of the world's top chefs and confectioners and patissiers from over 33 different countries," he explained.
"Corey is the first official New Zealand competitor since 1992 and New Zealand has not had its own National Team since 1988 at World IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany," added Miller.
Hume is also striving for a much bigger picture and opportunity.
"Through this experience I hope to be able to return to New Zealand and work with Gary Miller and the 2005 NZCT team to form what could be this country's first National Culinary Olympic team and compete in at the 2008 World IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany," he says.