Cricketing legend and Chennai Super Kings Coach, Stephen Fleming is putting his support behind New Zealand's first 'Virtual' Chef competition - the 'Quality NZ Culinary Cup' which showcases New Zealand products in India.
The competition was launched in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to help keep chefs motivated and connected during a challenging time. Over 120 Chefs entered videos for the competition and the judges include members from the Culinary Association heads, Chef Davinder Kumar, Chef Salil Fadnis, and Chef Jugesh Arora and Stephen Fleming himself.
The videos are being hosted on Quality NZ's YouTube channel and voting will close on the 15th of June, with winners announced the same day. For chefs to be successful, they need to engage the wider community as 50 percent of the judging score will be considered based on the number of likes the Chef's videos receive on QualityNZ YouTube channel. The winner will receive the 2020 QualityNZ Culinary Cup, 50,000 rupees worth of QualityNZ lamb and seafood, and a Weber BBQ valued at over 46,000 rupees.
Stephen Fleming is a shareholder and ambassador of the Indian based import company, QualityNZ Imports, alongside two other well-known cricketers Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori. He believes that in these extremely difficult times that everyone needs to be supporting industries that are seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: "We have been operating in India now for over 7 years and some of our customers and their own employees have been terribly affected by COVID. With everyone being in lockdown, we wanted to think of a way to stay connected and give the community something positive to think about and be involved in. Who doesn't enjoy cooking? Being in lockdown has allowed many people to have a go at cooking their own meals. I've been using a few of the Pure South lamb products and our Seafood to cook my own favourite recipes while being in lockdown here in NZ."
The 2020 QualityNZ Culinary Cup is supported by the 'South Indian Culinary Association', the 'Indian Culinary Forum', and the 'Western India Culinary Association'. "The aim is to make the videos available through our social media channels to all the 'home' Chefs across India who have an interest in cooking and new recipes and to show them some of the Chef's secrets to producing some extra special meals!"
QualityNZ CEO India and Emerging markets, Dr Nitin Nagrale, said the interest in the competition has been incredible: "The places available in the competition were full within one day of the entries opening and we were oversubscribed. It has been fantastic, and we are thrilled the Chefs have seized the opportunity to compete in the competition and be involved in something they are so passionate about!"