Twelve Kiwi and Vietnamese culinary students have showcased the finest produce and techniques from both countries at a fusion cooking competition in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City.
Three mixed teams created their own fusion menu, served to 150 guests at the five-star Caravelle Hotel.
For Ella Ritson-Jones from Invercargill, it was her first time in Vietnam and the chance of a lifetime for a cooking enthusiast. The 19-year-old is enrolled in the Diploma in Professional Chef Practice at Southland Institute of Technology.
Ella admitted before the event that she doesn't like spicy hot food -- and hasn't even tried a chilli pepper before.
But that didn't deter her, the teenager crafting an Asian desert, a fusion take on the Kiwi classic pavlova, filled with delicate flavours including spun sugar, strawberry sherbet, lemongrass syrup and fresh fruit.
When the two-hour contest came to a close, Ella and her team were voted the winners by the specially invited guests.
She later admitted that she just might have to try some spicy Vietnamese food during her stay.