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NZ Chefs Championships 2023

NZ Chefs Championships 2023, updated 16 June

25-27 June NZ Chefs Championships at Fine Food NZ
      25 June: Chef of the Year
      26 June: Pastry Chef of the Year
      27 June: Akaroa Emerging Chef of the Year

General rules and regulations 2023 NZ Chefs Championships

Entry information:

All competitors are advised to read all of this section carefully.

  • Entries close 16 June, 2023.
  • Entries into classes are limited and it is in the competitor’s best interest to apply early.
  • All entries must be submitted by scanning the form and emailing to
  • The completed Entry form can be couriered or hand-delivered to House of Knives provided they are in by 16 June. No liability can be accepted for entries lost or damaged.
  • An entry fee must accompany each entry. No entry will be accepted without payment.
  • If required, an invoice will be sent, and payment must be received by 16 June 2023 for entries to be accepted. If you require invoicing, please include a Purchase Order Number on your entry form.
  • The entry fee is non-refundable in cases of cancellation or withdrawal by the competitor.
  • Confirmation of a place in a class will be confirmed after payment has been made and your entry has been processed. You will then receive an email with your class(es) information and competitor number.
  • Numbered badges will be available on the competition day at the registration desk.
  • Entries for oversubscribed classes will be accepted only when payment is provided, and in the order they are received.
  • The organisers reserve the right to limit numbers and entries in any class, or to cancel a class.
  • Classes will be cancelled if there are insufficient numbers of competitors.
  • The organisers reserve the right to rescind or modify any of the rules and conditions and their interpretation of the rules is final.
  • If any changes to entries are required after 16 June these must be requested in writing by email.
  • By entering this competition competitors acknowledged that photos or video footage may be taken and consent that this can be used for promotional purposes.
  • By entering this competition, the competitors and all persons assisting those entering, state they abide by the rules.

Entry Fees

  • Chef of the Year                             $45 (includes Event 1 and 2)
  • Mystery Box only                           $20
  • Pastry Chef of the Year                  $45
  • Akaroa Emerging Chef of the Year            Free

Payment by Internet Banking

For all payments the following must be included.

  • Particulars = last name and first initial
  • Code = class number (e.g., 1, 3, 4, or 2). If entering more than one class use first class entered only.
  • Reference = contact telephone number including area code

NZ Chefs’ bank details are: 03 1506 0015925 00 (Westpac)

For further information on the 2023 NZ Chefs championships, please contact NZ Chefs:



Postal: NZ Chefs national office, 24 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland

Phone: 027 27 145 27

Akaroa Emerging Chef of the Year must be no older than 27 years on the day of the competition.

General rules and information

Professional integrity

  • It is the responsibility of the competitors to assure the judges that their work is unaided and is completed within the spirit of fair competition.
  • Competitors may have assistance in loading in their equipment for competitions, but any unpacking, display or other preparations must be done by the competitor alone. Marshals will be present on the day to assist as needed. Please ask if you need assistance.

Security of equipment and personal property

  • Competitors must provide all equipment, plates, utensils and ingredients (except where detailed in your class information).
  • Each competitor is responsible for the removal of their equipment from the competition arena when directed to do so. No responsibility will be taken by the competition organisers for lost or missing equipment. It is advisable to label your equipment.
  • All electrical leads and equipment must be tested and tagged – an electrician will be inspecting these on site so please ensure you are using approved and tagged gear. This will be strictly enforced. Any non compliant equipment / leads won't be able to be used.

Attendance on the day

  • Competitors are asked to register at least one hour prior to the start of their competition heat.
  • Competitors must report to the scheduled competition area at least 15 minutes prior to their live class.
  • Confirmed competitors will be advised of the drop off zone details.

Recipe and menu cards

  • Where a recipe card or menu is required for the class, competitors must submit this on registration. These should be computer generated and must include the competitor’s number and the competition class information. Templates are available on the NZ Chefs website.
  • Marks are allocated to recipe cards and menus so please check the criteria carefully.


  • The decision of the judges in all matters relating to the competitions is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Awards (all classes)

  • Worldchefs guidelines are used for all competitions. All competitors start with 100 marks (gold with distinction), with marks deducted for noncompliance with the guidelines. Competitors can receive gold, silver and bronze medals with certificates in each class.
  • Medals and certificates will be awarded to competitors who achieved the following marks in each class. A certificate of merit can be awarded at the discretion of the Chief Judge.
  • 100 marks   Gold medal with distinction
  • 90 – 99.99    Gold medal
  • 80 – 89.99   Silver medal
  • 70 – 79.99   Bronze medal


  • Results of each competition will be posted after being signed off by the Chief Judge.
  • Results will be displayed on the Competitors’ Results notice board as soon as possible after judging is completed and Award cards placed alongside static exhibits.


  • Prize giving will take place daily in the late afternoon. Time will be displayed on the day.
  • All recipients for medals are to be in clean hospitality uniform. This is important for presentation purposes and photographs.
  • Any medals or certificates that are not accepted by the competitor at the presentation ceremony will be send to the competitors. They will be posted to the address on the entry form. This may take up to three weeks following the competition and a fee may be charged.
  • Judges’ comments will be issued for each competitor but may take up to three weeks to be sent out after the conclusion of the competition.

Covid 19 Guidelines

  • The competitions will be run according to any government settings in place at the time.
  • Mask wearing is encouraged during setup but are not worn during the competition.
  • Extra hygiene practises to minimise risk is encouraged.
  • If you are unwell, please advise as soon as possible as you will not be able to compete.

Live Kitchen Classes

  • Competitors are required to bring all ingredients and equipment required for the competitions, except those stated below, and in the specific class descriptions.
  • Security of equipment and ingredients is responsibility of the competitor.
  • There will be no refrigeration available on the day for storage of ingredients prior to the competition class beginning.

Once a live competition in any area has begun:

  • No communication may take place between the competitors, or between competitors and supporters. If communication does take place, the competitor risks being disqualified immediately.
  • No equipment, food, liquids, or other associated items for the class may be brought into arenas for the competitors to complete the class.
  • All inquiries are to be directed to the floor manager of the area who will assist as is appropriate for the class and the circumstances.

When the class time is up:

  • Competitors will be informed of this by the Head Judge/Floor Manager and all competitors will be asked to stand back from their workstations.
  • At stand back all plates must be off the bench and in transit to be deemed complete.
  • Any competitor who has not completed all elements of their competition will lose 5 marks immediately when time is called.
  • Competitors may be allowed up to five additional minutes to complete elements of their competition, but they will incur a loss of 1 mark per minute (up to five marks). If, after an additional 5 minutes, the competitor has not completed all elements of the competition, they will be judged on what has been presented/completed.

Uniform requirements

Marks will be deducted for incorrect uniform and competitors are reminded to ensure their personal presentation, including hair, hands, and hygiene are of the highest standard possible.

  • Full chef whites, including hat, necktie and apron,
  • Footwear for the kitchen environment (closed front and back, leather or similar).

Health and safety – Promoting food safety and hygiene excellence

  • Competitors will not only be judged on the standard and quality of their food, but also monitored on their efficient use of energy in creating a winning dish.
  • Competitors must at all times keep the food that they are using for competitions at a safe temperature i.e., below four (4) degrees centigrade.
  • Any protein that is served raw (especially chicken) will not be judged. The plate will be wrapped (marked with class, competitor and bench number) and kept until after the competition has been completed. Temperature probes may be used by the judges to test suitable temperature of served items. Regulations as per a workplace must be followed in all competitions.


  • Competition officials will have the right to have the equipment removed at any time of the competition.
  • Competitors are required to clean their stoves and equipment at the end of the competition. Marks will be deducted if this is not carried out.
  • No trolleys will be allowed in any kitchen other than for transport into the kitchen. All trolleys must be removed to a safe place prior to the start of the competition.
  • Under no circumstances will deep fat fryers, either free standing with a power source, or on the stove with a temperature probe with oil / fat/ or other frying medium be used in any part of the cooking arena. Deep frying is when the frying medium is over ¼ cm.

Equipment in wash-up area

  • All plates, equipment and product is to be provided by competitors unless otherwise stated in the schedule. These must be marked with the competitor’s number and contact phone number.
  • Competitors are responsible for their own equipment at all times. The organisers will not be responsible for any loss or damage to exhibits, dishes, equipment, or personal effects.
  • Competitors are advised to suitably insure dishes for display. It is the individual’s responsibility to cover this personal risk.
  • A suitable workspace and four burner stove will be provided per competitor.
  • Limited washing up facilities are available but will not be able to be used at the end of the competition for washing utensils.
  • No trolleys will be allowed in any kitchen other than for transport into the kitchen. All trolleys must be removed to a safe place prior to the start of the competition.
  • No equipment must be added to the stove or the bench in any way as to interfere with the working or cause damage to the stove or anybody in the vicinity.
  • The competition officials will have the right to have the equipment removed at any time of the competition.

After the competition

  • Confirmed competitors will be advised of their pick up time from the drop off / pick up zone.


NZ Chefs Classes

Equipment Guidelines

The following minimum kitchen equipment will be provided by the host venue:

Per Competitor:

  • 1x 6 top gas burner
  • 1x Under bench Moffat/Blue Seal Electric Oven (pastry competitors will have access to 1x deck oven and a shared use Moffat Turbofan)
  • 1x Stainless steel work bench (minimum size 1800cm x 600cm)
  • 1 power plug (competitors can supply additional multi plug)
  • Cleaning products and equipment, rubbish bin / food waste bin

Shared Use:

  • 1x Combi Oven – will be set to steam function only
  • Storage space in deep freeze (shelves allocated per competitor.)
  • Small Blast freezer

Small Equipment

All other equipment to be brought in by the competitor

General rules on mise en place for ALL CLASSES

The following FOOD INGREDIENTS are permitted to be brought into the kitchen at the start of the competition.

  • • Basic stocks, sauces can be reduced but not finished or seasoned. Tasting required to be done at start of the competition
  • • Salad can be washed and cleaned, but not mixed or cut
  • • Vegetables, fruits can be washed, peeled, but not cooked
  • • Pumpkin, broad beans seeds can be removed
  • • Dried Beans / Pulses can be soaked
  • • Tomatoes can be peeled
  • • Fish can be gutted, gilled, scaled, and filleted but not cooked
  • • Seafood / shellfish can be cleaned, filleted but not portioned or cooked
  • • Meat, poultry can be portioned but not cooked
  • • Liver can be soaked in milk, not pre-marinated
  • • Bones can be cut into small pieces
  • • Pastry sponge and doughs (savoury or sweet) can be brought in but cannot be cut in any format
  • • Fruit pulps can be brought in but with no additives
  • • Eggs can be separated
  • • Decoration MUST be done onsite
  • • Dry ingredients can be weighed and measured
  • • Pasta and dough can be prepared but not filled or cooked
  • • Coulis-purée can be brought in but needs to be finished in competition
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