Battle of the Pans 2024

Recently Westland High School hosted the regional event from the National Service IQ Battle of the pans competition.

The sizzle of pans and the aroma of delights filled the air yesterday as Battle of the Pans event 3 for 2024 took center stage at School. While this culinary competition is now in its third year, this is the first time a heat has been held on the West Coast.

Contestants were from both Westland High School and South Westland Area School. The event showcased the culinary talents of twelve eager students and gave them a taste of what competitions can be like.  Joseph Clarke – Service IQ Hospitality Sector Advisor said “it’s a great opportunity for industry to see what new talent is coming through from schools and start making those local connections between our businesses and schools”. Westland High school had six contestants with 8 entries in total. Two static class entries for a "Cafe style cake" and "Creative  cupcakes" both received gold certificates. Six entries for the live class received two silver and four gold certificates. 

The judging panel, consisting of industry professionals Aroha Matthews, General Manager, and Christopher Mendaje, Head Chef at Copthorne Hotel Greymouth, along with Colin Cutler from Woodstock Hotel, faced the tough task of evaluating each entrant's culinary creations. Their expertise and discerning palates ensured that only the most exceptional dishes rose to the top. 

Westland High made a remarkable impact at this year's regional cooking competition, showcasing the culinary talents of its students with a total of eight entries across various categories. Among the highlights were two static class entries, "Cafe Style Cake" and "Creative Cupcakes," both of which clinched prestigious gold certificates.

In the live class category, Westland High excelled with six entries, securing an impressive array of accolades: two silver certificates and an outstanding four gold certificates. This success underscores the dedication and skill of the contestants, who demonstrated their culinary prowess under competitive conditions.

The event provided a platform for budding chefs from various schools to exhibit their creativity and technical abilities in the culinary arts.

In a first for Battle of the Pans events, two participants emerged as joint winners. Alexander Sever and Shea Lane of South Westland Area School. These talented individuals will now embark on valuable work experience opportunities with Christopher Mendaje at the Copthorne Hotel, a prize sure to further ignite their passion for the culinary arts. we'd like to thank our sponsor "Lekker SA Shop Hokitika" for all our prep containers and takeaway materials for each contestant to pre-pack their ingredient boxes for the competition.

“Service IQ is trying to create pathways from school straight into industry, giving students an opportunity to start their earn-while-they-learn journey.  We are always hopeful that the industry will see their next apprentice in one of our students.”  Said Vanessa Mohi-Goodchild, Talent Supply Manager and organiser of Battle of the Pans. "We are grateful to Hokitika for their warm welcome and to Westland High School for hosting one of this year's events"

Congratulations to all of our students who competed in the event.

  • Alicia Ormsby

  • Clare Peters

  • Jeannelize Diplock

  • Kayla Delore

  • Alex Sever

  • Luca Towers