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Fiji Time: 12:31 PM on Sunday 31 August

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Junior Chef of the year

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, November 23, 2012

HARD work, four gruelling days of training and family support won Abhinesh Rohit Sharma the 2012 Junior Chef of the Year title.

Sharma, who spends his time cooking up a storm at the Sharaton Fiji Resort kitchen, said he would not have been able to triumph at the 2012 Moffat National Salon Culinaire competition without his colleagues and family.

"Their support meant a lot to me. I don't think I would have won this award without them. Our executive sous chef, Jason Caroll helped me a lot.

"He trained me for four days and gave me the support and ideas that I needed for the competition. I just want to thank him for the help he gave me and for his support" said the 23-year-old.

For three days during the annual competition, Avinesh battled alongside aspiring local chefs for the esteemed title.

"I was nervous at first but because members of my team and my family were there cheering me on, I managed to pull through to the end. My sister, Arishna and my friend Ifraz were there every day and for that I thank them."

But the win did not come easily for the Korovuto, Nadi, resident.

"I worked really hard for it. The four-day training and then having to cook beside some of the best young chefs in the country was hard and very intimidating but in the end very rewarding."

He said his combination of seafood and chicken dishes combined with his signature chocolate dessert was the winning recipe for him and his team.

Following his win, the TPAF graduate is now looking forward to expanding his horizons in the culinary world.

"I want to gain more knowledge locally and maybe even abroad. Cooking is a passion of mine and I want to make use of the opportunity that is available to me.

"This award means a lot to me and I know it will open a lot of doors so I hope that I will come across something that will help me with my career."

He adds that nothing satisfies him more than getting positive feedbacks from his guests.

"I always love it when I cook something for a guest and they come back to me with a compliment and they say that the food was new and a different experience for them. That is what I strive for, to be able to give guests a culinary experience that is new and very different to what they are used to."


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