Otago Polytechnic

Thailand teenagers Boonyawee Pakvisal and Parima Na Pompetch have been enjoying a hearty taste of Otago Polytechnic’s top-notch tertiary programmes.

Our strong international connections extend to Education New Zealand’s partnership with Srinakharinwirot University Prasarnmitr Demonstration (SUPD) School in Bangkok, one outcome of which is the New Zealand Young Genius Chef Culinary Competition.

The cooking contest, which targets high school students studying Home Economics or Hospitality, aims to raise the profile of New Zealand education as well as provide a platform for direct engagement with school-aged students.

And this is where Boonyawee (nickname, Lookchan) and Parima (Prim) enter the mix.

Having won the Bangkok-based competition, the pair received a prize package that included a one-week study visit to Dunedin and Central Otago earlier this month.

They have enjoyed our famous Southern hospitality: from a tour of Otago Polytechnic’s Food Design facilities, to hospitality classes at our Cromwell Campus, savouring fare at a range of cafes and restaurants through the region, to crossing Lake Wakatipu on the SS Earnslaw.

Lookchan (16), who has enjoyed cooking since she was a young child, entered Junior MasterChef Thailand when she “I was around 11 to 12 years old” and reached the final six, a result which has fuelled her passion for food.

“I am interested in a culinary and business degree and for my future career I would like to do something that is involved with food and cooking,” Lookchan explains.

Prim (17), too, plans to enrol in a culinary programme and become a chef. “But if I can’t go for this programme, I plan to study arts and music and focus on cooking as a hobby instead.”

For more information on Otago Polytechnic’s range of food and hospitality programmes, visit:


Published on 30 October 2017

Orderdate: 30 Oct 2017
Expiry: 31 Jan 2018