Committed to nurturing young culinary talent, The Table Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape encourages its junior chefs to participate in competitions where they get to test their skills. In October 2018, 25 year old Chef de Partie, Lisa Ford from Parow was put to the test against other young chefs from the Western Cape in the respected Jeunes Chef Rôtisseurs Competition and she came out with flying colours. Having trumped the competition, she along with six other competitors from the Western Cape will go through to the national event taking place in April 2018. There they will compete against talented young chefs from across the country.
“I feel honoured and privileged to be representing The Table Bay, which is widely considered one of the very best hotels in South Africa. Chef Keshan sees so much potential in me, and I appreciate that he’s always trying to push us to do competitions and better ourselves as chefs.
“I am excited to be going to the national finals of the Jeunes Chef Rôtisseurs Competition. By participating in competitions like these, we as young chefs get to learn so much. We grow and learn not only from being under immense pressure but also from watching other competing chefs in action. The exposure is also beneficial because it gets your name out in the industry. It’s good to be recognised,” says Ford.
Ford joined The Table Bay in 2016 as a Commis Chef and was promoted to Chef de Partie earlier this year. Born and raised in the Cape, Ford completed her schooling at Goodwood College and went on to study law at the University of Cape Town before moving to the Chef Hospitality and Skills Academy to pursue her studies in hospitality. She waitressed while she was studying and as soon as she had qualified, secured a job as a Commis Chef at The Commodore Hotel.
Although she has no doubts that she is in the right career, it wasn’t planned.
“When I was in school, I never thought I would have thought that I would be a chef. I loved to cook from a young age, but never thought making it a career. I did my first year of law after school before I knew that I was not doing what I loved. I then realized that cooking was my passion and took steps to change my path, in the right direction. I am so excited about what the future holds.”
Joanne Selby, the General Manager at The Table Bay has wished Ford all the best for the next leg of the competition.
“We are right behind her and look forward to seeing how she does in the national event. It is important to nurture and develop aspiring chefs in an industry that is impacted by a shortage of appropriate skills.”
The Jeunes Chef Rôtisseurs Competition offers young chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their culinary skills in a competitive environment with their peers. The competition is open to chefs up to 27 years of age with less than five years of professional experience.
On the day of the competition, each contestant is given an identical, previously unidentified “market basket” containing certain basic ingredients. Using all of these ingredients, the contestant need to compose and execute a three course menu (first course, main course, and dessert) for four people.
The written menu must be completed within the first half-hour, with three and a half hours allowed for preparation, after which the finished dishes are presented for judging. The mystery basket is set by the Conseiller Culinaire, and the regional Vice-Conseiller Culinaire coordinates the competition at a regional level.
Competitors must be working in one of our member establishments, and after winning a Regional competition, qualify to enter the National competition. The National winner then competes in the International competition held in a different member country every year.
Visit our website for more details on The Table Bay