Capital Hotel School’s (CHS), one of South Africa’s finest hospitality schools based in Pretoria took part in the competition when HOD: Professional Cookery Alicia Gilliomee surprised the school and students by entering three first year Professional Cookery students into the Junior category. Entrants into the competition had to create and submit – with their recipe and costing; a main course dish prepared with Lucky Star Pilchards or Lucky Star Tuna. Dishes had to be healthy and of course, taste great.
The actual day of competition, which was adjudicated by leading judges from the South African Chef’s Association, was divided into two sessions. The first session required entrants to prepare a replica of the dish they entered the competition with. Reabetswe’s Red Lucky Star Pilchard & Coconut Curry served with Basmati Rice and Chunky Morogo won top dish for round one. Reabetswe’s Crispy Lucky Star Sardine fingers, warm Quinoa & Morogo stack, accompanied by a Lucky Star Tomato Concentrate served with Mustard & Honey glazed Butternut, Sweet Potato Crisps and Beetroot Chutney was what he prepared for the second session which required entrants to create a dish using a ‘mystery basket’ concept.
Industry-heavyweights judged the competition and provided feedback to the entrants. All the chef-judges were impressed at the level of skill the youngsters demonstrated and Chef Fortunato Mazzone took to Reabetswe and offered him an opportunity to train and cook in his newly opened kitchen, Forti Grill & Bar, situated at the Times Square casino complex by Sun International in the Menlyn Maine area.
The placements were announced by Chef Kabelo Segone (HTA & South African Chefs Association) and shared his enthusiasm for the growing and promising industry of young professional chefs.
I have been in this industry a long time and I have an inherent passion for cooking which has afforded me the vision to see potential in the students I teach,” said Alicia Gilliomee, HOD: Professional Cookery at CHS. “It takes time for these students to build up the confidence to believe they’re capable of producing great food in pressured and often challenging environments so sometimes the encouragement they need is a surprise entry.”
“I’m incredibly proud of our first year students, Timothy Kloppenborg, Sonja Wilken and Reabetswe and their ability to be so creative with their food and even prouder that Reabetswe managed to place second overall.”