SUGAR . . . eggs . . . bread . . . mince . . . pork . . . potatoes . . . flour . . . and coleslaw. Delicious aromas waft through the air as five aspiring young chefs slice, chop and dice – all determined to be crowned the ultimate master chef at King’s College third annual sizzling hot Masterchef competition.But there can only be one winner. Will it be the pork sandwich or French toast with scrambled eggs and caramel sauce? Or the orange infused panfried pork?King’s College home economics and hospitality teacher, Catherine Calitz, says, “We are about family, health, passion and entrepreneurship.“This initiative gives aspiring young chefs a platform to show what they can do, while building confidence and self-worth.” Cook-off Marking the first inter-schools competition, the ultimate cook-off took to the kitchen with 25 learners from five schools across Jeffreys Bay: King’s College, Oakridge Academy, Victory Christian School, JBay Academy and Pharos School. “Ten learners – two from each school – advanced to the semi-final round in September, where they had to prepare a mouth-watering breakfast with the ingredients supplied in the pantry,” says Calitz. “Dishes ranged from bacon and eggs to fluffy flap jacks.”The top five chefs then had to battle it out in the final round of the competition – consisting of two rounds.During the first round, contestants had to make two identical hamburgers from scratch, as well as a side dish of their choice, in just 45 minutes. Apart from the staples at their benches – milk, sugar, oil and flour – an open pantry was at their disposal.Dishes ranged from cheese burgers with a fresh side salad to mushroom burgers with fried potatoes and egg burgers.The final three finalists – Abby Robertson, Téamo Morolong and Jayden Geldenhuys – were given a mystery box containing pork, an orange, two eggs, a red onion and coleslaw to concoct a winning dish in the final round.They were not allowed to use the pantry. Overall winner One dish stood out from the field – Tséamo Morolong’s delicious pork with a good dash of orange and a hint of orange peel, accompanied by pan fried bread with onion rings.The winner was chosen by a panel of independent judges – qualified chefs from Kitchen Windows and Mills Academy – who scored each contestant according to set criteria: appearance, texture, consistency, tenderness, flavour, temperature and cleanliness.“The dishes are delicious and the standard amazing,” says judge Marius Malherbe from Kitchen Window. “It shows creativity, skill and passion.”Grade 7 King’s College learner Morolong – who also cooked his way to the top in 2018 –says, “When I saw the mystery ingredients, I immediately knew what I wanted to do: pan fried pork infused with lemon juice and le-mon zest. But not too much. The orange flavour must not overpower the dish.“To round the dish off, I made a pan fried sandwich with a fried onion filling.“I love to cook – especially for my family and friends.” Culinary Skills But where did he learn to cook like a professional?At the schools hands-on Vocational Training (VT) Programme.The programme consists of three legs: home economics (cooking), needlework and technical work.We introduced the VT Programme at the beginning of 2018 to accommodate and uplift learners who are not performing academically,” says King’s College Principal Soria Swart.“This, however, does not mean that they have not got immense potential. Their skills just lie elsewhere – more on the practical side.”According to her, the programme not only boosts learners’ self-worth and confidence, but also equips them with valuable skills to become successful entrepreneurs – whether it is in the hospitality or restaurant industry, or carpentry and fashion.