First Thursday cook-off challenge

The young chefs in training from False Bay College won the cook-out challenge at the Ministry of Economic Opportunities this First Thursday.

A partnership between the Ministry of Economic Opportunities and the Western Cape Fine Food Initiative (WCFFI), the cooking challenge featured the talents of students at the False Bay College and the Capsicum Chef School. The event, which took place on 6 July, at the Ministry of Economic Opportunities in Long Street in the Cape Town city centre, was open to the public.

Both teams, using products of members of the WCFFI, presented three courses to a panel of judges. Mocktails, main dishes and desserts were scored.

Surprise gifts baskets with ingredients were delivered to the participating colleges 24 hours before the challenge. The challenge was to prepare a 3 course meal incorporating the ingredients to be prepared in front of the judging audience.

Participating Hospitality and Catering, False Bay TVET College student, Fatima said she was pleased with the outcome of the challenge and enjoyed the experience. “I was very nervous going into the competition, but my lecturer Ms Mohamed was there to reassure us that we were capable and ready to complete the tasked challenge on the menu.”

Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities, said the evening provided a showcase of the up and coming talent in the industry.

“Once qualified, these chefs will be an asset to the tourism and hospitality sector. They displayed creativity, attention to detail and delivered high-quality meals. I wish them well as they get ready to do their internships, with many of them already placed in local hotels. I am confident many will go on to open their businesses, and bring home global awards for their work. I also saw a few local restaurateurs at the event, spotting the talent on show.”

Nazeem Sterras said it an awesome event that provided a unique opportunity to our member companies exhibiting their latest and innovative products to a wider audience including restaurants owners, tourism stakeholders, development agencies, government and the consumers. This event facilitated networking and created a platform for the government,  higher learning institutions and industry to engage, the essence of 1 of 6 pillars that forms the WCFFIs objective and purpose. 

The event formed part of Minister Winde’s First Thursday programme, which he launched in March 2016. Minister Winde is seeking to make government more accessible through this initiative. Each month has a themed programme and apart from networking opportunities, government officials also attend to offer guidance to entrepreneurs.

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