2 May 2012

Career choice inspired by cooking on the marae

8:05 am on 2 May 2012

The Restaurant Association of New Zealand has extended its apprenticeship schemes in the North Island giving more young people including rangatahi Maori entry into the hospitality industry.

One young Maori chef who is a year into an apprenticeship with a suburban cafe in Auckland, says her career choice was inspired by preparing food on her home marae in Wairoa.

Oriwia Morrell, 20, of Ngati Porou and Ngati Kahungunu says her grandmother's tuition in cooking and looking after manuhiri (visitors) gave her the confidence to take on an apprenticeship.

She says she now has a good feel for the hospitality industry and wants to create dishes which are influenced by traditional Maori kai served on the marae.

Miss Morrell says being in an apprenticeship scheme means the Restaurant Association makes sure she is taken care of and that it encourages her to enter competitions.