Top chefs visit Whitireia

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Celebrity chef Annabel Langbein and American Chef Corps Culinary Diplomat William Dissen popped in to visit students and tutors from the Whitireia Cookery programme on Monday. Over 50 students and staff from both Porirua and Kāpiti gathered at Te Onepu – the Porirua campus training restaurant and kitchen – to hear Langbein and Dissen discuss a range of topics, followed by a Q&A session. The two spoke about their respective backgrounds, the American Chef Corps, and sustainable, seasonal food sourcing.

"The students had some very interesting questions and both Annabel and William were able to give the group some wonderful feedback," said programme manager Wendy Gibson.

William Dissen and Annabel Langbein talk to Whitireia cookery students

William Dissen and Annabel Langbein talk to Whitireia cookery students

The US Embassy in Wellington brought William Dissen to New Zealand to work with Annabel Langbein as part of Visa Wellington on a Plate. Both passionate campaigners for the use of garden-fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients, the pair worked together over three nights at Wellington’s Le Cordon Bleu, demonstrating the food of America’s south using local New Zealand produce.

"This is an excellent example of the kind of industry engagement we offer our Cookery students at Whitireia," said Gibson.

"We aim to prepare our students for the reality of working in the industry, and this kind of opportunity is an incredibly valuable experience."

William Dissen, Annabel Langbein and Whitireia cookery staff

William Dissen, Annabel Langbein and Whitireia cookery staff