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On Friday 22 May, the SA College for Tourism Class of 2015 participated in their own Master Chef-style cooking competition aptly named Fab Chef – the college is after all an all-women institution!
The competition, brainchild of Jennifer Preller, a board member of the college, was preceded by a cooking demonstration by Kevin Rottcher, executive chef at Fleur du Cap Estate, Somerset West. Chef Kevin expertly deboned a chicken that he later presented as part of a beautifully garnished plate. He also demonstrated the right, yet easy, way to make a pear frangipane tart.
It was obvious from all the questions fired at Chef Kevin after his demonstration and talk that the students not only enjoyed the opportunity to have a talented chef in their midst, but that Chef Kevin also served as a great inspiration for them to succeed.
Nine teams, consisting of two students each, received a mystery basket containing seven food items with which they could create a dish of choice. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to plan and discuss their dish and collect additional ingredients made available to them in true Master Chef tradition. Observed by three judges, Chef Kevin, Mrs Marissa Lubbe, head of Corporate Social Investment at Remgro, sponsor of the competition, and André Kilian, executive director of the college, the students turned out to be amazingly adept after only six months at the college. All nine teams completed their dishes within the allotted 60 minutes cooking and plating time.
Each team was required to present its dish with an explanation of how they utilised the mystery basket items to the judges, who scored them on presentation, colour combination, creativity, utilisation of the mystery basket and of other ingredients, and on taste. The teams came up with some very interesting creations and the judges had a tough time to decide which team would be crowned “Fab Chef”. Amidst lots of cheering, Mrs Preller handed out the prizes – knive sets for the winning team and chef’s aprons with the college logo on the chest to the runners-up – all courtesy of Remgro.
Leaving no doubt as to how much they’d enjoyed the day, the students kept their most enthusiastic applause for Mrs Lubbe who announced that the competition will be held again next year.
Story and photos by the SA College for Tourism