Yesterday, the 25th of October, the 12 finalists in the Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year took part in the final cook-off at the South African Chefs Association.
The criteria for entries this year were extremely tough – students were asked to submit a four course tasting menu, using Goldcrest products, with each course being influenced by one of the five senses (taste, sight, smell, hear, touch) and one element of molecular gastronomy.
Why such a challenge? The prize for this year’s winner is a one week all-expenses-paid trip to London to experience the cuisine of gastronomic wizard, Chef Heston Blumenthal.
Coming first place was Grant Scheltens from Capital Hotel School, who impressed the judges with his menu of:
- Tomato gelee topped with quenelle of creme fraiche with parmesan crisp, quince reduction and fresh dill.
- Crab and shrimp pops served in a chip basket with homemade teriyaki sauce.
- Brandy Flambeed chicken liver scented with a curry spice and served as a bunny chow with an orange marmalade sauce.
- Reconstructed passion fruit curd egg served with candied bacon and honey milk ice cream with rooibos tea caviar.
The other finalists in the competition were Lauren Frost (Capsicum Culinary Studio, Cape Town), Lenanje Spangenberg (Capsicum Culinary Studio, Boksburg), Charmaine Daffue (Capital Hotel School & Training Academy), Maria Ohlson de Fine (HTA School of Culinary Art), Dean Seddon (HTA in-service trainee), Darren O’Donovan (HTA School of Culinary Art), Ntokozo Dlamini (HTA in-service trainee), Liezl Bruce (UJ School of Tourism & Hospitality), Dominique Hobson (HTA School of Culinary Art), Abigail Evans (HTA School of Culinary Art) and Luxola Tabato (National Youth Chefs Training Programme).