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Teppanyaki Chef Yalayala Has No Regrets Over Her Decisions

Ulamila Muasara Yalayala, 40, has never regretted a minute she has spent as a Demi-chef at The Westin Kitchen. Demi chefs serve as valuable assistants to executive chefs in restaurants.
22 Sep 2018 14:10
Teppanyaki Chef Yalayala Has No Regrets Over Her Decisions
Chefs Arishma Devi, Shavnita Archal, Ulamila Yalayala, Sadhana Devi, Praneeta Devi and wine maker Sam Miranda, at the event on September 15, 2018 Photo: Waisea Nasokia

Ulamila Muasara Yalayala, 40, has never regretted a minute she has spent as a Demi-chef at The Westin Kitchen.
Demi chefs serve as valuable assistants to executive chefs in restaurants.
The Nalase, Rewa native has been in restaurant kitchen the last 15 years as her profession.
Last Saturday she was one of the five female chefs of The Westin Resort and Spa who received a standing ovation during the Sam Miranda Wine Maker dinner at the Kitchen Grill.
Their excellent culinary experience amazed the taste buds of their guests as all their creation had a story and bid the use for local produce.
Ms Yalayala’s career began as a saleswoman with Imported Marine Accessories in Nadi back in 1996.
Few years later she joined the Hamacho Japanese restaurant at the Sheraton complex as a waitress she moved up the rank to a supervisor before settling in as a teppanyaki chef.
Teppanyaki is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food.
Modern teppanyaki grills are typically propane-heated flat surface grills and are widely used to cook food in front of guests at restaurants.
“The then teppanyaki chef encouraged me to go to a bigger restaurant to grow,” Ms Yalayala said.
“He saw the talent in me. I have never regretted the decision to come here.
“My culinary got broader and I have learnt a lot from this property.”
“Women are the cooks and chefs at home. We are here to assist the men who take the lead here. To work together is very much encouraging and we learn a lot.”
The other four women chefs who took part included Praneeta Devi, Sadhana Devi, Shavnita Archal and Arishma Devi.

Five female chef’s event
Ms Yalayala said, “This is a grand opportunity to showcase your talent as practice makes perfect. I thank Prabhat for coming up with this idea and to involve five women is a break through. We are very grateful to them for this event.”
Complex Executive Chef Prabhat Prawin said, “What an evening! All five female chefs have done an excellent job and amazed our guests. All the creation had a story and they used local produce.”
“The involvement of all five female chefs is the part of my training programme which I started for our chefs. It is called the ‘Marriott International Denarau Top 25 Chefs,”
“I had picked 25 chefs from our team and worked with them for their skill development,” wine maker Sam Miranda said, “The whole reason why we make wine is to pair with food. Wine is not a stand-alone thing just like food is not a stand-alone thing. When we harvest the fruit in the vineyard we think which meal with go with that wine.”
“To come here and do this dinner is ultimate reason to see first-hand where your wine is being served. Doing this dinner is also to educate staff, chefs, and customers.
The event was supported by Kitchen Grill (The Westin), Sam Miranda King Valley and Law Hill Wines.

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