Spuds in the spotlightJune 7th, 2010 by H&R | Categories: food, government, industry, products, tourism, training
The Mzansi Budding Chefs’ Potato Competition was launched by Potato South Africa in February this year and received some 120 entry recipes. It was open to hospitality learners in selected public sector further education training (FET) colleges. The final competition cook-off took place at the Southern Sun Centre for Culinary Excellence (CCE) Friday, 4 June 2010, under the auspices of the South African Chefs Association (SACA).
Second-year culinary student Talita Brendt from Westcol College in Randfontein came in first place, with Malesela Amos Matlala from Springs Campus in second place and Clopatra Tadzingwa, also of Westcol College, coming in third.
The trainee chefs were required to produce potato recipes of a fresh, creative and practical nature. The dishes also had to highlight the key attributes of potatoes: affordability, versatility and ease of preparation.
Recipes were entered into the three categories aimed at LSM four to seven consumers: starter, main and dessert.
The judges chose three finalists based on creativity, flavour, originality, adherence to basic competition criteria, as well as balance to the overall proposed menu.
Brendt’s winning menu consisted of: starter of potato grissini served with a creamy spinach dipping sauce; mains of potato and fennel waffle topped with shrimp and a stir-fry of peppers and fennel root; and dessert of spring roll with a chocolate potato maraschino filling.
First prize consisted of R10 000 and a 10-day course at the CCE; second prize was R7 000 and a five-day course at the CCE and third prize was R5 000 and a five-day course at the CCE.
Arnold Tanzer, SACA board member and World Association of Chefs Societies (WACS) continental director for Africa and the Middle East, says of the event: “Potatoes play a significant role in our daily lives and its entry into the competition arena confirms its importance. It was absolutely lovely to see the level of skill and creativity exhibited from the public sector FET schools that were approached, and I hope that the Mzansi Budding Chefs’ Competition has inspired these students to continue entering culinary competitions.”
Invited colleges from Gauteng included Central Johannesburg College (with five campuses), Ekurhuleni East & West Colleges, Sedibeng College, Tshwane North & South Colleges, South West Gauteng College and Western College. Also competing were Mafikeng Hotel School (North West), Vuselela College (Limpopo) and Sondela Academy (North West).
The final recipes will appear in a 30-page recipe book that focuses on the healthy and tasty benefits of potatoes.
Etienne Booyens, marketing manager of Potatoes South Africa, says: “We are hugely impressed by the level of innovation exhibited by these young students, in this, the inaugural year of the Mzansi Budding Chefs’ Potato Competition. Potatoes South Africa has witnessed a number of recipes of a commercial nature, which we would be interested in developing further. I would like to say to all the students who have participated, you are all winners, and we hope that you have learned and grown from this experience. We look forward to hosting this competition in 2011, and assisting the SACA in building future SA culinary chefs for the international arena.”
Judging the competition were: Arnold Tanzer (SACA board member and WACS continental director for Africa and the Middle East); Kabelo Segone (SACA board member and HTA School of Culinary Art lecturer); Allister Esau (SACA board member and BOSASA); Etienne Booyens (marketing manager at Potatoes South Africa); and Immaculate Zinde (marketing assistant manager at Potatoes South Africa).