SA Olive Young Chef 2019 Competition Winners

Words: Crush

The freshly launched SA Olive Young Chef competition sees the South African olive industry continuing their drive towards educating consumers and making locally produced olive oil the go-to product when cooking and dining. The competition also naturally creates a space for innovation, exposing talent and nurturing young minds.

 SA Olive Young Chef Competition 2019

Nine future chefs competed for the first ever SA Olive Young Chef awards. SA Olive partnered with Hurst Campus in Paarl as the first chef school to participate in an event the olive industry plans to roll out nationally in the years to come.

The diversity of the young participants is a testimony to the fact that variety is indeed the spice of life and that diversity brings forth innovation.

SA Olive Young Chef 2019

Besides the South African hopefuls, there were entrants from as far afield as Nigeria and Namibia and the dishes presented covered the sweet to savoury spectrum with a delicious variety of ingredients.

The panel of judges, including Master Chef SA judge, Pete Goffe-Wood, and Marc Maingard, trained chef and the mastermind behind the feeding scheme 2nd Harvest, was full of praise for the olive and olive oil infused dishes presented to them.

The Junior Category Winners

Senior and junior category winners were selected through a process that included the panel of experts, online voting and in-action scoring of the actual cooking process of each candidate. The criteria were to come up with uniquely olive and olive oil inspired dishes and to apply academic and practical learning to the cooking process.

The competition was fierce and the final scores so close that each of the young chefs can tap themselves on the shoulder for a job well done. In some cases there was less than a point separating the first and second places. Says Karien Bezuidenhout, manager of SA Olive: ‘they are all stars that we look forward to seeing them dish up magic in the years to come’.

The senior category winner is Tanner Leigh with his olive and mushroom tortellini, which was rounded off with a tomato juice emulsion, pickled olives, spinach puree, ginger hair and basil oil.

SA Olive Young Chef 2019

The junior category winner is Renate van Reenen with her toasted sponge cake served with honey and olive oil ice cream.

SA Olive board member, Venishree Mayer, remarked on ‘how inspiring the students were in taking their learning of olives and olive oil and turning it into incredibly creative dishes. We look forward to 2020 and rolling the competition out on a multi-national level.’ | Facebook | Instagram

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