THE kitchen department of the Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort accomplished more than they intended in the School Chef Challenge 2012 last weekend at the Sigatoka Andhra College.
The competition was a community project that coincided with International Chefs Day.
"This was more than just a community project, we wanted to educate the students about food culture," said Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort executive chef Shailesh Naidu said.
"It was the first time we've ever done this and the response we got, not just from the competitors but the sponsors was overwhelming — we couldn't have done this without them."
The competition featured 80 students from Sigatoka Andhra College compete in five groups to come up with the best dishes for the five categories — egg, chicken, vegetable, seafood dishes and cake decoration.
"Tourism is big on the Coral Coast and the kitchen department is one of the most important departments in the hotel industry," Mr Naidu said.
"Several years ago not a lot of people wanted to become chefs but the interest has grown and we hope that through this competition these students will learn to appreciate cooking food more and who knows, spark their interest to pursue a career in this."
The resort's kitchen team also raised $1500 from food and cake stalls in Sigatoka Town which was given to underprivileged kids of Sigatoka.