July 2nd, 2012
New Zealand's top baking trainee
From cooking at home with Mum at a young age, to winning the Weston Milling Trainee of the Year competition – Jenna Mangin is making a name for herself as the one to watch on the baking scene.
Jenna, 23 years old, beat eight other baking trainees from around the country in front of a live audience, over 2 days of competition at Fine Food New Zealand this June.
“I’ve been practicing for about three weeks, working from 5am to 5pm every day, with paper work on top of that, like organising the recipes for the four judges,” says Jenna. “I’ve always wanted to enter a competition and give myself a challenge, so this was my chance.”
It’s a lot of pressure, but the practice paid off. With just 30 seconds left in the three hour final, Jenna still needed to place her bread out on the presentation table, and she did so in a calm and collected manner – a situation where most would have buckled under the pressure.
Jenna entered the competition after a bit of encouragement from her employers Michael and John Kloeg, from 10 O’clock Cookie Bakery, where Jenna is in the first year of a baking apprenticeship.
“I’ve known since I was 15 that I wanted to work with food, so I completed a Chefing course,” says Jenna, “but I soon realised that wasn’t for me and I went into a six month baking course.”
“I never planned on starting an apprenticeship but I’m glad I took up the opportunity because I’m learning so much more by working hands-on in the industry.”
Jenna is completing her apprenticeship through Competenz, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the baking sector.
“I love my job, I love being on my feet all day and I hope to go into the decorating side of things like making wedding cakes,” says Jenna. “I enjoy the fiddly stuff that most people don’t have the patience for.”