2023 Sushi Master Competition week one!

Hey everyone, big news! An old favourite, the St. Pierre’s Sushi Master Competition, is back for 2023! It’s been a few years since we ran the competition, and we’ve been asked many times when the next one will be. By popular demand, it’s on again!

We’re holding semi-final rounds in Wellington, Christchurch and three locations around Auckland, before the big final in central Auckland on 11 July (regional shops can have an in-shop semi-final). We’re really keen to find out who is the best sushi roller in NZ, so we’re flying the finalists from outside Auckland to the Queen City for the grand final, where they’ll compete for a $2,500 travel prize! (not to mention second place, third place, and crowd favourite prizes too!)

But first, team members have to succeed in the preliminary rounds. Staff get one chance to roll a classic teriyaki chicken avocado sushi, and are rated on appearance, speed, weight and food safety, plus bonus points for not using tools. The more great work you do by hand, the more you score!

We love friendly competition and making work fun at St. Pierre’s, and there’s no question that the semi-finals so far have been successful. Staff and managers alike – even the directors – have tested their skills in a positive, supportive atmosphere. Check out the photos and videos from the first three rounds in Wellington, Christchurch and south/east Auckland!

Wellington semi-final, Monday 19 June, Cuba Street shop

Nicky from Queensgate shop showing the speed and skill which took her to the national finals

Christchurch semi-final, Tuesday 20 June, Hornby shop

The top three from Christchurch going on to the national finals!
Director Nick (host), Northlink partner Annie (judge), Northlands manager Kei (finalist) with Northlink staff Ruby and Madeline (finalists). Annie was thrilled her two staff won through to the grand final in Auckland!
National finalist Kei in action!
National finalist Madeline showing her skills!

The Christchurch team certainly brought the energy, with lots of cheering and support (plus some nervous tension) for fellow shop team members.

Nick commented
“I’m so glad we’ve brought back the Sushi Master Competition, thanks so much to Zoe for organizing it. It’s just so much fun for everyone, and a real level playing field. Everyone gets one chance with the same ingredients to show how good they are. I love watching new staff take on the experienced staff in an energetic, positive atmosphere. Working hard and having fun is what being a people-first company is about. I just need to work on my own rolling skills though!”

Bonus video: Director Nick showing he still has the sushi rolling skills! Everyone was paying attention and providing supportive (?) comments – well done Nick!

South and East Auckland semi-final, Tuesday 20 June, Onehunga shop

The third semi final last week was also on Tuesday, for southern Auckland shops at the spacious Onehunga store. With lots of head office staff there, the pressure was on for everyone – HQ staff included! – to do a great job. Check out the photos and videos of everyone in action!

Takeshi flying through the rolling challenge!
Auckland Airport shop manager Novita embracing the pressure and doing a great job!
Team members of all ages and levels of experience got right into the competitive spirit!

After the Onehunga round, the finalists from south/east Auckland are Yumi (Mt Wellington), Amanda (Botany) and Tony (Bombay partner). Best of luck on 11 July to all of you!

This week is the central Auckland semi-final at the Ponsonby shop on Tuesday 27th, with the north and west semi-final at Oteha Valley on Tuesday 4th July. Look out for more photos and videos, and come support your team mates. See you soon!

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