Monday, October 28, 2013

Vanuatu National Culinary Chefs Team for 2014 announced at Awards

For immediate release 27th October 2013: After a week of strong competition amongst the best Ni-Vanuatu competitors of the Origin Culinary Arts & Hospitality Show, the 2014 National Culinary Team was announced at the grand finale, the Gala Awards Dinner.

All competitors, both Senior Chefs and Junior Chefs, who wanted to make it into the National Culinary Team had to compete in compulsory cooking competitions. They had to make a dessert, cook a Vanuatu beef dish and follow a secret recipe in the Mystery Box challenge. The competition for the Senior and Junior Chef of the Year 2013 is tough with highly skilled Chefs competing against each other for top points and the chance to represent Vanuatu at international cooking competitions. 

Chefs were awarded medals at the end of the Competition, but the Awards for the Senior and the Junior Chef of the Year, and the announcement of who had made it into the National Culinary Team was left until the Awards Dinner hosted at Iririki Island Resort with celebrated Chef and Author, Robert Oliver.

The Moffat Senior Chef of the Year was won by Maylin Dan, from Tanna, and Head Chef at Chantillys. The Victorinox Junior Chef of the Year was won by Dickson Enoch, from Pentecost, who is a Commis Chef at La Tentation in Port Vila. Both Chefs were delighted with their wins, for Maylin this is the second year that she has won the Senior Chef of the Year, and for Dickson, a first time entrant, he had every right to be ecstatic with his win. 

The remaining chefs who make up the National Culinary Team, also did exceptionally well in the competition producing great food at international standards, winning a mix of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.

The National Culinary Team for 2014 is:
Senior Chefs:
Maylin Dan, from Tanna, and Head Chef at Chantillys.
Bill Leonardo, from Emau, and Sous Chef at Holiday Inn.
Alick Niavi, from Aniwa, and Sous Chef at Iririki Island Resort

Junior Chefs:
Dickson Enoch, from Pentecost, and Commis Chef at La Tentation.
Roselyn George, from Ambrym, and Demi Chef at Iririki Island Resort.
Christopher Bulememe, from Pentecost & Ambrym, and Sous Chef at Coconut Palms Resort.

The National Culinary Team is managed by Chef David Holiday of Air Vanuatu Catering who this past year spent a lot of time working with the team to get them ready to compete at an international competition in New Zealand, he said “This year it has been great to work with our National Chefs representing Vanuatu, their employers have been supportive of their Chefs development and I’d love to see that support happen this coming year.  Our Chefs can be proud of their achievements and we will continue to grow and develop their passion for great Vanuatu cuisine”.

While the annual competition is a lot of work for the Vanuatu Chefs and Food Handlers Association, the President, Chef Sarah Kymbrekos is really pleased with how the Salon Culinaire has developed over the years “We had a record number of entrants this year that included students from APTC and INTV; Housekeepers and front of house staff competing in Cocktail Making; Coffee making and a Table Service Competition. We have seen a remarkable increase in the quality of competition across the board. It’s a very positive thing“ she said. 

The competition throughout the week was a reflection of the need for this industry event and the Canape Challenge and the Origin Restaurant Challenge were team events that rounded off the Show. “ All the competitors in both the cooking, housekeeping and front of house classes should be proud of their achievements over the week long competition, we expect that there will be lots of training over the next 12 months in preparation for the 2014 Salon Culinaire, which will be the 10th Anniversary of the Show.”

“The Committee of the VCFHA would like to thank industry for their ongoing support of the event and especially to this year’s sponsors – without them the show just couldn’t take place.” she continued.

If anyone would like further information please e-mail or call 27079 and ask for the Chefs Association Duty Officer. Or visit the website or Facebook.

Photo 1 - Current National Culinary Team members, L-R Bill Leonardo; Chris Bulemene; Maylin Dan; Roslyn George
Photo 2 – New Junior Chef member of the National Culinary Team, Dickson Enoch
Photo 3 – New Senior Chef member of the National Culinary Team, Alick Niavi 

Contact info
Mereana Mills
VCFHAssociation Salon Culinaire Organizing committee
Phone: 5699945