Kiwi cooks to get a grilling at Culinary Olympics

The team leaves for Germany on Friday
The team leaves for Germany on Friday

There was a last-minute practice on Thursday for some of our best chefs, before they jet off to Germany to compete at this year's Culinary Olympics. 

Seven cooks from around the country have joined forces to take New Zealand on a plate to the world stage. On Thursday's menu was lamb.

"The dish is based around a traditional hangi," says chef Darren Wright, "so we're using hangi potatoes and cabbage that we serve in a hangi style, in a drum."

This year's event is the second time a New Zealand team has entered - the last time we competed it was 1988. While it looks like a lot of fun, it's also serious business.

"From what I can gather it's pretty intense, pretty much a lot of elbows going on just to get your own set up for the cold table," says chef Richard Hingston.

On Thursday night the chefs had one last run-through after training for the event for the past 15 months.

They're up against some stiff competition. More than 2000 chefs from 40 nations are competing, and competitors have only seven hours to prepare and plate three dishes from their country.

"We're the whippersnappers on the block, the small fry in comparison to these bigger teams," Mr Hingston says.

The group are vying for a place on the podium, but say the competition is about so much more than a medal.

"There'll be some sort of tips and techniques that we can pick up along the way as well and bring back to New Zealand," Mr Hingston says.

The team leaves for Germany on Friday and they'll be ready to give their competition a grilling.