South African chefs have done our country proud, with five of the ten semi-finalists in the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 for the Africa – Middle East region coming from our country. Unbelievable is that three of the five local finalists are from The Restaurant at Waterkloof in Somerset West, a huge feather in the cap of Executive Chef Gregory Czarnecki, currently the S. Pellegrino Eat Out Chef of the Year!
The five South African semi-finalists are the following:
# Bianca Strydom, Chef de Partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. Her dish name is Rubus & Fresh Water.
# Garth Raubenheimer, Chef de Partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof, with his dish Langoustine in Granny’s Garden.
# Paul Prinsloo, Chef de Partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof. His dish was called Salmon up the River.
#. Sheldon Raju, Chef, of Sheldon Raju Consultancy in Cape Town. His dish is entitled On the Spice Trail.
#. Vusumuzi Ndlovu, Sous Chef at The Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa, in Johannesburg. His dish is called Isicupho (a Zulu word for trap, according to www.wordhippo.com)
The other five Africa – Middle East finalists are:
#. Aditya Kumar Jha, Chef at Tamba in Abu Dhabi
#. Georgios Spandos, Sous Chef of Palm Hotel & Spa in Reunion.
#. Jorge Alexis Falcon Valera, Sous Chef, Cantina Kahlo, in Manama in Bahrain.
#. Mario Christianto, Chef at The Exchange Grill Restaurant, in Dubai, UAE.
# Nigel Lobo, Chef, The Eloquent Elephant, Dubai, UAE
A total of 210 semi-finalists will compete for a coveted place in the 21 finalist regions, being Italy, France, Germany and Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal, UK and Ireland, Russia and CIS, Scandinavia and Baltics, East Europe, Benelux, Mediterranean countries, the USA, Canada, Africa and Middle East, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, China, Japan, North East Asia, and South East Asia.
The semi-finalists were selected on the basis of their written entry, evaluated by ALMA, The International School of Italian Cuisine. The five criteria for selection of the semi-finalists were the following: ingredients, skill, genius, beauty, and message. The School’s advice to young chefs is to ‘never stop learning and astonishing yourself. Curiosity is the key to success in life and work. Be proud of what you are doing and be proud of your job’.
The regional competitions will be completed by the end of this year. Each finalist will be assigned a mentor chef to guide him/her in the competition. The Grand Finale, at which the 21 Finalists will cook, will be held in Milan in June next year, for the selection of the S. Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Source: Fine Dining Lovers
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein Instagram: @Chris_Ulmenstein