CRUSH CHATS TO Vusi Ndlovu
Top 10 finalist in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 - Africa & Middle East
More than 3000 young chefs submitted their application together with their signature dish to participate to S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015, the global scouting project to find the world’s best young chefs.
Applications were divided into 20 regions, according to the geographic area of origin, dishes were judged according to five Golden Rules: ingredients, skills, genius, beauty, message.
A fantastic seven of the Top 10 selected for Africa and Middle East, were South African chefs, and in this series we catch up with each of them.
Vusi is 23 and works at 500 @ The Saxon Hotel under Executive Chef David Higgs.
It is an amazing achievement to have been placed in the Top Ten of this award selection – congrats! Tell us about your journey to entering…
There was a lot of hype leading up to the competition. Everyone on this side of the world was talking about it. A competition of this calibre is super exciting because everyone and anyone is allowed to show off their stuff, so in the heat of excitement I decided to come up with a dish and enter.
Tell us about the dish that got you here…
I wanted to do something with beef, I personally think fillet is overrated so I wanted to do something really kick ass and quirky. I put together some good quality beef with charred asparagus, some oysters, a hollandaise with a twist (its full of bone marrow) and a pine dressing for good measure.
Without giving too much away, do you have an idea what you will be cooking in the next round?
At this point, with the competition, I am not sure what will be expected in phase two as we have not been briefed yet but it will definitely be a dish to look forward to!
Chef David Higgs is the selected mentor for this group – daunting or exciting…or both?
I’ve always said cooking for a customer is a pleasure, but cooking for your boss is the hardest thing ever. He is my boss so it’ll be like another day at work, a roller coaster.
Current favourite ingredient… Beef.
Kitchen tool you can’t live without… Fancy knife.
Your foodie guilty pleasure… Pizza – thin crust.
Bucket list foodie destination… Japan.
Drink after a long, hard service… Fanta Orange.
Funniest kitchen experience to date… A trainee was sent to look for chicken lips, and then was super convinced that he actually found them in the freezer!
Pet peeve… Someone dropping my fancy knife.
Last meal on earth… Will be epic…