Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year Competition

Candice Jordaan is the Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year

October 30th, 2013 by Susan Reynard – Hotel and Restaurant magazine 

The Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year 2013 competition took place today at the South African Chefs Association’s (SACA) kitchens in Johannesburg. Twelve contestants competed, and Candice Jordaan from Fusion Cooking School took top honours. Her prize is a working trip to Thailand to the Blue Elephant Cooking School. In second place was Tyla Schou, also from Fusion Cooking School, and in third place was Megan Vogel, from HTA School of Culinary Art. HTA School of Culinary Art was awarded the prize for the school with the most finalists to enter the competition. Cash prizes included R7000 for the winner, R5000 for second place and R3000 for third place, plus a set of chef’s knives. HTA won a Yuppiechef voucher.

The chefs had to prepare a starter, main course and dessert for four people within three hours. Jordaan’s winning menu consisted of:
– Starter: Duo of fish: fish cake on minted yoghurt, ceviche on an apple, and fennel and beetroot salad
– Main course: Chicken asparagus empanada and a brinjal puree, roasted beetroot with a ricotta and artichoke spinach roulade, with crumbed snails
– Dessert: Grapefruit frozen curd served with a chocolate Anglaise topped with a cashew nut brittle

Pictured above are Allister Esau, vice president of SACA; Mia Nel from Goldcrest and Patleys; Candice Jordaan from Fusion Cooking School and this year’s Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year; and John Mackay, MD of Patleys.

Goldcrest is a brand owned by Patleys, and the company has supported this competition aimed at improving and highlighting the skills of junior chefs for eight years.

Jordaan says she prepared for the competition by working hard and practising. Competitions are challenging and when things go wrong, you have to just keep on going, she says. She hopes to own her own restaurant one day and says of her excitement of winning: “It’s amazing – no words can express how I feel. I love Thai cuisine and the prize is right up my alley.”

Also competing were Harald Greef, Shaun Grobler, Keabetswe Tibane, Bavin Nana, Zandria de Nobrega, JC Waganar, Willem Viljoen, Dominique Hobson and Cyle Heaney.

Head judge was James Khoza, who was also kitchen judge. Also on the judging panel were top chefs Leon Hatton Jones, Stuart Cason, Stuart McLarty and Neil Olverman.

President of SACA, Stephen Billingham, says: “Why does Goldcrest and Patleys invest time, effort and money into the South African chef through culinary competitions such as the one presented here today? Is it to play a vital role in supporting and growing the development of culinary skills in South Africa? Is it to continually create and expose innovative ways to utilise a wide range of quality convenience Goldcrest and Patleys products? Is it to strengthen the profile of young South African chefs? Is it to create a vehicle to uncover and encourage the competitive spirit through camaraderie of chefs. Is it to promote and support healthier eating lifestyles? Is it to promote convenience, versatility and value for money? Or simply an excuse to eat and drink well with our friends and colleagues? Whatever the reason, it is very clear that Goldcrest and Patleys have always invested heavily into us, the South African chef, and as the president of the South African Chefs Association I would like to sincerely thank Goldcrest and Patleys’ management and staff for their continued investment into chefs through competitions of this nature.”

Billingham calls the twelve finalists the next captains of industry, having survived the fast pace and long hours of cooking competition conditions. Their passion for modern, classic cuisine is apparent in their dishes and to be nurtured, he says.

He adds: “To the finalists, the Goldcrest Young Chef of the Year is about being pushed and learning to push yourselves. Goldcrest and Patleys wants each finalist to do more – more than you can imagine; to do better – better than you think possible. This competition is ultimately about this push: a push to learn more, to compete better, to work harder and to work smarter in a professional kitchen environment.”

Last year’s winner, Grant Scheltens (currently enrolled at The Capital Hotel School and Training Academy), spoke with enthusiasm about the invaluable experience he gained from experiencing the various cuisine by Heston Blumenthal during his winning trip the UK. He says of his win: “Goldcrest has changed my life. I dined at the Fat Duck – the best food of my life – as well as the Hinds Head and Dinner by Heston. I learned so much.

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