12 aspiring young chefs from schools in the Overberg were praised for their cookery techniques and flavour packed dishes on Thursday, 27 April 2023 at the prize giving ceremony of the Overberg Aspiring Chef of the Year competition in Hermanus.
Danielle Lindes, a grade 11 hospitality study learner from Curro Hermanus, triumphed in the finals. Benita Fourie from Overberg High School was in second place, with Abbi Romburgh from Curro Hermanus claiming third spot.
Learners had to re-invent a family favourite chicken dish – giving it a twist and 2023 flair.
Warwick’s Chef School’s owners, Kevin and Sumien, organised the competition to put focus on the exciting opportunities that the culinary and hospitality industry has to offer in our region for the younger people
– especially after the raw deal learners had to endure during Covid-19.
Chef Kevin Warwick said all the finalists prepared top class dishes that were of a very high standard and made it very difficult for the judging panel to decide on a winner. The judging panel consisted of Kevin Warwick (Warwick’s Chef School), Christine Capendale (Cookbook Author and Culinary Assessor), Hedda Mitner (Hermanus FynArts) and Carina van der Merwe (Core Catering Hermanus).
Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dr Annelie Rabie, was there to congratulate the finalists and said that the youth in the economy is the future. She added that youngsters will keep the industry alive (and kitchens full), thanks to business people who are willing to sponsor prizes, parents and teachers who nurture passion and encourage children to ‘mess around in the kitchen’.
“It is not everyone who can change ‘ordinary’ into something special on the plate – and that is why people will keep coming back to your restaurant one day.”
Mayor Rabie also thanked Chef Kevin for investing in young chefs and bakers in our region, upskilling them in their chosen culinary disciplines.
The 12 finalists (out of 53 entries from Grade 11 and 12 learners) who were selected to participate in the cook-off on Thursday were:
Abbi Romburg (Curro Hermanus), Aleca May (Overberg High), Amanda Gouws (Bredasdorp High), Ayana-Leigh Clarke (Overberg High), Benita Fourie (Overberg High), Danielle Lindes (Curro Hermanus), Jade Beukes (Overberg High), Rourke Neethling (Curro Hermanus), Siseko Mhlana (Qhayiya Secondary), Sunah Huyser (Swellendam High), Zané Louw (Home schooled) and Zoey-Leigh Hoffman (Overberg High).