Press Releases

Another gold award for Blanket Bay chef team

Sep 9, 2013

An up-and-coming young chef from Queenstown’s five-star Blanket Bay has claimed the Pastry Chef of the Year award at New Zealand’s National Culinary Fare competition in Auckland.   Twenty-two-year-old Vivian Clarke, who earlier this year was a member of the two-person New Zealand Junior Pastry Team to place fourth at the Junior Pastry World Cup in Rimini, Italy, said she was “relieved and very happy” with her latest award.   “I’ve been working as a pastry chef since 2009 and I’ve never wanted to do anything else, I just love it,” she said, back in Queenstown the day after receiving the award.   “I’m enjoying working at Blanket Bay so much because every day is different and you have to think on your feet all the time, and it’s a hugely supportive environment.”   Over the course of the three-day competition Vivian had to deliver a ‘live’ dessert – four portions prepared from scratch using specific ingredients – and two ‘static’ displays.   Demonstrating a high degree of technical skill, her celebration cake took the birth of Royal baby George as its theme, and a chocolate fantasy dessert, containing a minimum 25% Valrhona chocolate, also showcased her skills and technique.   In a pressure-cooker environment and up against talented pastry chefs from around the country in each of the three competition areas, Vivian kept her cool to take out top spot overall.   Blanket Bay Executive Chef Corey Hume described Vivian as a “very talented” young pastry chef who he was thrilled to have as a member of the Blanket Bay team.   “She’s definitely one of the country’s most prominent new young pastry chefs, and traditionally New Zealand hasn’t been particularly strong in this area so it’s a great sign of things to come,” he said.   “We were very lucky to attract her to Blanket Bay after her win in Italy so she’s only been with us for a short while, but she’s excited to learn more and one of the first things we did was support her entry to the Culinary Fare competition.   “Blanket Bay’s kitchen is renowned for consistently producing some of the most highly-awarded chefs in New Zealand, including multiple Chef of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Commis Chef of the Year, national and international titles in Toque D’Or competitions, and  Blanket Bay chefs who have been members of the NZ Culinary Team.   “We’ve also had individual internationally-recognised accolades.”   Blanket Bay General Manager Philip Jenkins, speaking from the United States where he is attending the Virtuoso luxury travel networking event, said he and the Blanket Bay owners were “thrilled” to receive the latest news.   “Once again it’s testimony to the exceptional quality of our kitchen brigade under the skillful tutelage of Executive Chef Corey Hume,” he said.   “Vivian’s demonstrated many of the skills that are taught in the kitchen on a daily basis and produced pastry dishes that would be a credit to our menu, which changes daily, and would delight our guests.   “Our whole team is passionate about providing guests with the very best service and the most exceptional cuisine on offer at any lodge anywhere in New Zealand.”   Blanket Bay recently produced a new video demonstrating its commitment to world class cuisine at http://blanketbay.com/cuisine/#video  

Last year Blanket Bay took the title of New Zealand’s No.1 hideaway as well as sixth in the world in Andrew Harper’s prestigious Hideaway Report.