We’ve been running chef competitions for several years now; the aim being to encourage young talent to cook with the produce we’re promoting in the UK.
We introduced college demonstrations as part of the competition process this year, which we found to be a key activity in inspiring student chefs.
The competitions require entrants (up to 25 years) to demonstrate an understanding of a particular cuisine. This year we’ve run South African Cuisine Young Chef of the Year and Young Peruvian Chef of the Year.The idea behind the demonstrations is to provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from reputable professionals before creating their entry menu.
This year, we had Robert Ortiz (Peru) and Petrus Madutlela (South Africa) demonstrating at Westminster Kingsway College, University College Birmingham and Richmond Upon Thames College. Both chefs created three dishes using typical national ingredients, whilst talking students through the process; focusing on ingredient flavours, textures and heritage. Students were encouraged to ask questions, taste the ingredients and the completed dishes throughout.
It’s a good idea to have a compère present. Luckily Robert and Petrus were confident communicators, but it can be helpful to have someone alongside the chef to ask questions which will benefit the audience.
We ensured there were plenty of entry packs and information available on the day, for students to feel confident in submitting their creations.
We’ll be starting demonstrations for the 2018 competitions in October this year.