Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how the New Zealand Junior Pastry Team negotiated the rigours of international competition at the 2013 Junior Pastry World Cup in Rimini, Italy and how what was learnt from this experience holds relevance to creative hospitality practice and business application. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses an inductive qualitative enquiry to illuminate the narratives and subjective experiences of the competition team. Structured and semi-structured interview data responses were themed using an open coding system. This data were critically evaluated against both competition data, participant experience and relevant academic literature. Findings – This paper shows how the team’s desire to highlight its national identity through food in the competition resulted in problematic experiences that were compounded by a tyranny of distance. However, these challenges were overcome through the creative dynamic the team developed and the networking benefits which the competition provided. These experiences added value not only to the team competitors but also the culinary and pastry practitioners in New Zealand’s hospitality community. Originality/value – The research offers unique insights into how a representative pastry team from the “New World” negotiated international competition set in and heavily influenced by the “Old World” of culinary tradition. The paper’s findings could be of use to other novice competition teams. The work also links the importance of international culinary competition to wider constructs of hospitality, such as business advantage in commercial hospitality.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 2, 2015
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