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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

South African chef contest returns

Placement at The Test Kitchen is the new prize in South African young chef competition

South African chef contest returns

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Training at one of the world’s most exciting restaurants is the new prize for a competition to get young chefs cooking with South African ingredients.

The competition, run by South African growers’ association Hortgro, invites chefs under the age of 25 to create a South African inspired menu, using fruit from the country – plums, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears.

Young chefs are encouraged to research South African cooking and ingredients to help inspire their creations.

The winner will fly to Cape Town to join Luke-Dale Roberts and his team at The Test Kitchen – ranked at number 63 in a list of the world's best restaurants for 2017 – for a week.

Jordon Powell, who won last year’s competition, said: “The whole competition process enabled me to explore a fascinating cuisine, which I didn’t know much about initially. I’ve learnt so much and have been excited to learn more about all that this beautiful country has to offer."

Seminars to promote the competition are currently being run in colleges around the UK by South African born chef and MasterChef finalist, Petrus Madutlela.

Madutlela will join other chefs and food writers on the judging panel at the cook-off final in April 2018. Eight finalists will be selected to attend the final, based on the menus submitted in the paper-based round.

Hortgro runs the South African Young Chef of the Year competition to raise awareness of the use of South African fruit as chefs’ ingredients, and highlighting the part fruit farming has played in the development of South Africa and its rural communities in the past 20 years.

“Awareness of South African fruit in the UK has grown significantly in the last few years," said Jacques du Preez, general manager: trade & markets. "The competition gives us the opportunity to get young chefs excited about our cuisine and enables them to use exceptionally good quality fruit all year round.”

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