YOUNG CHEF ABDUL FREDERICKS WINS MASTER YOUR PASSION COMPETITION
The winner of the Unilever Food Solutions Master your Passion – the Mentorship Movement competition – is Abdul Fredericks of Southern Sun Cape Sun, who was mentored by Stuart Cason, executive chef at Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, and went up against four other finalists in a mystery basket cook-off on 29 October in the Unilever kitchens in Johannesburg, walking off with the top prize of a culinary experience in London worth R50 000.
The Mentorship Movement competition invited senior chefs to nominate their young chefs for mentoring sessions with one of five leading chefs during September. Chef Alfred Henry nominated Abdul Fredericks and won a R10 000 South African weekend getaway for nominating the winning young chef.
The Master your Passion – the Mentorship Movement competition – is all about developing young talent in the culinary industry, says Unilever Food Solutions MD Remco Bol. “Mastering you passion in the kitchen makes you a master chef, a chef who is in control of all the demanding aspects of the successful and innovative preparation of meals, which includes mastering time. We believe that young chefs can learn a vast amount from top chefs in the industry and we introduced the Mentorship Movement competition to encourage the sharing of insight, knowledge and time-saving tips by the experienced chefs to help the younger chefs achieve success on their culinary journeys.”
Bol congratulated Fredericks on his win. “Culinary mystery basket time trials are invariably intense – and this one was no different, but he kept his cool in the most demanding circumstances and came through with flying colours, producing innovative dishes worthy of a highly experienced and top-class chef. Congratulations too to Stuart Cason who mentored the winner.
The five finalists were challenged to beat the clock in a mystery basket cook-off, incorporating Unilever Food Solutions’ professional ingredients. The event included menu writing assisted by the mentor, a cooking off session with the mentor, a cooking session without the mentor, followed by the judging and awards.
Fredericks’ delicious mystery basket starter was seared scallops with a smoked prawn and mussel tortellini, butter poached prawn leek and caramelised onion puree and tomato chutney, which.
The main course was rolled deboned quail, pan fried springbok loin with butternut puree, wild berry and beetroot and sautéed mushroom.
The other finalists, their nominating chefs and their mentors, were :
- Thembane Isaac of The Wanderers Club Silvasale Events, nominated by Leanne Galloway and mentored by James Khoza of Sandton Convention Centre. Thembane won a culinary course from FBI Chefs School.
- Matthew Paulsen of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, nominated by Rudi Liebenberg and mentored by Craig Cormack of The Goose Roasters, who received a Lindt chocolate course.
- Andile Ndlovu of Fairmount, nominated by Dean Uren and mentored by Leon Hatton-Jones of Hilton Hotel, Namibia. Andile won a culinary course from FBI Chefs School.
- Bianca Groener of The Fernery Lodge in the Eastern Cape, nominated by Barry Schmidt and mentored by Dion Vengatass of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, who won Cordon Bleu course from Al Fresco.
“Working with professional chefs to help them save time in the kitchen, without compromising on quality or taste in their culinary creations and while running profitable operations, is Unilever Food Solutions’ mission. We believe this competition goes the extra mile in passing on the secrets of success that five top South African chefs have learned over the years and ensures that every mentored young chef is a winner in this competition, whether they walked away with the top prize or not.”