Corretta Akinyi, Chef de Partie from Ole Sereni, emerged as the overall winner at the inaugural MAGGI Junior Chef Competition organized by Nestlé Professional held at Kenya Utalii College.
Akinyi scooped the top chef prize of a 3 day trip to visit the Electrolux Factory in Italy and spend time in the beautiful city of Venice.
The first runner-up prize went to Kamal Singh, Romania Sous from Haandi & Haveli Restaurant who won a 5 day trip to Brussels including a 3 day seminar at Puratos University in Groot-Bijgarden while the second runner-up prize went to Mildred Odhiambo, a Junior Sous Chef, at the Tamarind Group Restaurant won a trip to the HOSTEX Expo 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Launched in September, 120 Chefs from the country participated in the inaugural MAGGI® Chef forum, paving way for the second round where the final 10 were selected in a draw a fortnight ago.
During the draw,the selection was conducted by hospitality students from Kenya Utalii College and the International Hospitality Training Institute (IHTTI).
The ten junior chefs who participated today were drawn from best hotels and restaurants. The likes of The Intercontinental, The Tamarind, Best western Premier, Pampa Churrascaria, Kivi Milimani Hotel, Ole Sereni, Lenana Mount Hotel, Pride inn Hotel, O’sinkirri restaurant and Haandi & Haveli Restaurant.
The ten finalists including hospitality students will have the opportunity to work under the chefs for two weeks.
In just under two and a half hours, the chefs were able to prepare a main course dish in an interactive cooking demo using Nestlé products – MAGGI® Rich Flavors and Cubes- and other raw ingredients of choice, battling it out for the top position.
Joseph Onchwati, Development Chef for Nestlé, said, “To keep up with discerning consumers and changing lifestyle needs, it is the chef’s responsibility to constantly innovate and refresh their skills. This is the only way we can maintain that edge in service delivery across the hospitality industry.”
“In addition, we’re also looking at nurturing young skills and that is why we selected ten of the best students from Kenya Utalii College and IHTTI to intern with the professional chefs in the wake of the competition,” added Onchwati.
The judging criterion was an all-round assessment of the chef’s skills, from novelty and innovation, taste, presentation,work speed and ultimately work organization and cleanliness.
In the end, three winning recipes were selected by a judging panel that comprised of Chef Mohsine Korich a two time Michelin star chef, executive chef at the Fairview Hotel, Nic Wang’ondu, host of Mashiriki Mix, a lifestyle show on DSTV and Joseph Onchwati, Development Chef for Nestlé.
The MAGGI® junior Chef competition comes just in time when the country is preparing to host the premier Food and Hospitality Fair (HOSTEX) in March next year.