Competition raises standard of cooking excellence

2015-09-08 06:00
Photo: supplied
Competing for top title (from left) Jethro van Dam, Richard Ellis, Emma McCullough, Chef Jade van der Spuy, Amerae Vercuil and Luke Evans.

Photo: supplied Competing for top title (from left) Jethro van Dam, Richard Ellis, Emma McCullough, Chef Jade van der Spuy, Amerae Vercuil and Luke Evans.

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JUST like MasterChef puts amateur chefs and sometimes celebrities under pressure, professional and student chefs must also compete in challenges.

Competition improves skills, encourages innovation and raises the general standard of excellence of the industry and the chefs involved.

Two premier events on South Africa’s culinary calendar are the Unilever Chef of the Year competition, and Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Goldcrest. These competitions offer cash prizes and prestigious titles recognised in the hospitality industry, both locally and internationally.

Other producers and leading brands - McCains and the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA) - sponsor great prizes that raise awareness of quality ingredients and encourage a competitive spirit among the country’s leading chefs training schools.

1000 Hills Chefs School in Botha’s Hill is proud of the excellent work its young student chefs have been doing. Hard work has its rewards, and several students have made it to the finals of various national competitions this year. The school would like to congratulate it’s students on their success and wish them the best for the challenges they face in the next two weeks.

Luke Evans and Richard Ellis were two of eight finalists in the SAAGA annual avocado competition. As an extra twist, the school challenged students to produce a dessert using avocados.

Evans and Ellis and Amerae Vercuil and Jethro van Dam, have made it to the finals of the Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year.

Vercuil and Ellis will also compete in the McCains Tribute to Good Taste Competition at InfoChef on a day open to high-school pupils aspiring to become chefs. These remarkable young students are all first-year students at 1000 Hills Chefs School.

Emma McCullough, a second-year student, will compete in the Junior Chef of the Year category in the Unilever competition on 10 September. Described as “unflappable” by judges and her classmates, McCullough is quietly determined to win.

Chef Jade an der Spuy, senior lecturer and former graduate of 1000 Hills Chefs School, will compete in the Senior Chef of the Year category. A previous winner of the Unilever Junior and Goldcrest Chef of the Year competitions, her competition and international work experience is shared with all our students in helping them produce excellence, even when under pressure.

Ellis will compete in the canapés section of the Unilever competition, and his achievement in reaching the finals of all four competitions is one for the record books at 1000 Hills Chefs School. - Supplied

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