Students put culinary skills to test in schools’ chef challenge

ABOUT 180 students from 16 secondary schools will pit their culinary skills against each other in the Schools’ Chef Challenge 2017 at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort and Spa in Sigatoka today.

The Korotogo property has been supporting the event since its inception in 2012 and executive chef and challenge founder Salesh Naidu said he was amazed at the response from schools and the level of creativity and skill sets displayed by the students.

“In 2012, I worked with only one school — Sigatoka Andhra Sangam College — and organised this competition,” he said.

“The following year, we ended up with eight schools from the Nadroga-Navosa province.

“Last year we got 15 schools, including four from Nadi and two from Lautoka.

“The competition has got so big in 2017 that we have participation from all high schools in Nadroga-Navosa and some from Nadi, Lautoka and Ba and possibly schools from the Southern Division joining us this year.”

Mr Naidu said apart from identifying potential talent for the tourism industry, the challenge was about developing a taste for different foods and to encourage healthy cooking and eating habits.

He said the Schools’ Chef Challenge 2017 was an Outrigger kitchen team community project. Students participating in the two-day event are from Years 9 to 13.

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