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16 Schools For Chefs Challenge 2017

16 Schools For Chefs Challenge 2017
Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar watched as student cook last year. Photo: OUTRIGGER FIJI BEACH RESORT
July 10
11:05 2017

In an effort to get Fijian high school students to have a better appreciation of food, The Outrigger Fiji Chef’s team will host the grand finale of the ‘School’s Chef Challenge 2017’ at the resort this week.

This year schools from the Nadroga/Navosa province, Nadi, Lautoka, Ba and possibly schools from the Southern Division as well may join the event.

The initiative is an Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Kitchen Team community project that has been running for the past four years.

The initiative allows students from Years 9 to 13 an opportunity to take part and showcase their talents as aspiring chefs.

Outrigger Fiji executive chef and the School’s Chef Challenge brainchild, Shailesh Naidu, said the kitchen team at Outrigger had always wanted to do something that reflected their profession.

“We appreciate Outrigger Fiji executives for giving us this opportunity. This is our commitment to associate with the community and give something back to our people.

“Hence I have put together this programme to showcase an element of the tourism industry,” said Mr Naidu who is a former president of the Fiji Chefs Association.

“I thank the students for showing interest in cooking. I think it’s a very important skill in life …. every one needs a feed.

“I know students competing have different goals in life, I’m not asking all to become chefs but it’s one of those things that you need to know a bit of.

“So we had eight schools from the province. Last year, we got 15 schools – four from Nadi and two from Lautoka – joining in as well.”

Mr Naidu said there was a lot of interest in the initiative – increasing to 16 schools in just five years with around 180 competitors.

“We used to run this event at one of the school’s home economics room but with the popularity we brought it to the Outrigger and set up the resort Ball Room into a flash air-conditioned kitchen for the students to cook up a storm,” he said.

The event starts on Friday and ends on Saturday.

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