Up close with the contestants

The Finals of the Goldcrest Young Chefs of the Year 2014 saw two cook-offs of three contestants each. The entrants had three hours to work their magic and visitors to the stand were treated to the absolute theatre of it all: young, talented and passionate up-and-coming chefs displaying their culinary expertise at its absolute best. It was as exciting and joyful to see them in action as it was to see (and taste!) their finished dishes. It was energetic, it was tense and sometimes hectic – yet all contestants kept their calm and worked as consummate professionals throughout.
Meet our finalists:

Ashleigh Thompson, Chef de Partie at Sandton Sun. Ashleigh, who is fortunate enough to work with Chef Garth Schnier, was confident and calm as she prepared a Study of Quail (which she expertly translated into pheasant when quail was not available) and Goldcrest Granadilla Soufflé.

Lichelle May, a third year student at the Institute of Culinary Arts who is specialising in Food Theatre. Lichelle prepared Caramelised Goldcrest Apple and Honey Pork in three ways (slow cooked pork belly, seared pork fillet and honey braised pork cheek) as well as Goldcrest Black Cherry and Coconut Tart.

Shay Terblanche of The Cooking School has recently returned from Florida, USA where he worked as Chef at the Breakers Hotel. He prepared Goldcrest Apricot Bobotie with Grapefruit Chutney and Goldcrest Blueberry Tiramisu with rose Geranium Syrup and Mini Salted Toffee Apples.

Jaishal Hargovan who is a student at the 1000 Hills Chef’s School and was cool, confident and professional as she set about preparing her choice of dishes which included Lemon and Dill Grilled Tuna Fillet, Vanilla and Goldcrest Granadilla Lychee Panna Cotta topped with a Goldcrest Black Cherry Syrup Jelly and Macerated Kiwi with a Goldcrest Granadilla Pulp Coulis.

Zandria De Nobrega who is Pastry Chef at the Fusion World Food Café and owes her inspiration to Buddy from Cake Boss. Zandria treated us to Chicken Roulade and Polenta and a dessert trio that included Goldcrest Honeycomb and Granadilla Panna Cotta.

Manika Harduth is a student at HTA School of Culinary Arts and is specialising in pastry. She expertly prepared Goldcrest Coconut Milk Poached Hake Fillet with a Crab Croquette, Pea Puree, Pickled Beetroot, a Lemon Gel and Goldcrest Black Olive Coral.

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