Westminster Kingsway College talent wins South African chefs competition
A student chef from the Victoria-based college is awarded winner of the South African Young Chef of the Year 2019 competition.
21-year-old Nikoleta Theofylaktidou will fly to South Africa to spend a week with award-winning restaurants – Reuben’s and La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek.
The national competition is part of the South African Fruit campaign in the UK. Young chefs, under the age of 25, enter a three-course menu based around plums, peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears from the country.
Entrants were encouraged to research South African cooking, culture, ingredients, and flavours. Nikoleta demonstrated a high level of knowledge through her menu of:
Monkfish with Spiced Sorghum, Nectarine Atchara and Red Wine Glaze
Venison Loin with Nut Paprika Crumble, Peach Pap, Chakalaka and Monkey’s Gland Sauce
Hazelnut Milk Tart with Apple Sorbet, Salty Granola, and Plum Marmelade
She said: “When I found out about the competition I knew I wanted to take part because South African cuisine isn’t something I’ve experienced. I learnt a lot about how ethical and high quality the country’s produce is. I’m so looking forward to the trip, especially working in two well-recognised restaurants, learning new techniques and increasing my knowledge. I also cannot wait to experience, in person, the South African culture and cuisine.”
Nikoleta is in her final year at Westminster Kingsway College, studying the Professional Chef Diploma. She hopes to utilise her experience in South Africa when looking for a job later this year.
The judging panel included chef lecturer and author, Jose Souto; South African-born chef patron at The Poet at Matfield, Petrus Madutlela; actress, presenter and author of Milly Cookbook, Nicola Millbank; Founder of Eighty 20 Nutrition, Donna Crous and Manager of South African restaurant, High Timber, Neleen Strauss.