City and Guilds Skills Challenge: By Chef Mandla Mthiyane
When we got word that out of ninety six possible entries into the City and Guilds Skills Challenge, that we had made it to the final four, I was more than happy. My team that was made up of Renee Tissong and Alita de Waal had to design a kitchen for a restaurant that could handle sixty pax, using only Vulcan equipment and have supporting documentation on the types of material we would use.
The competition was to be held at the CTICC Hostex in Cape Town. The first day of competition was quite stressful yet still fun. The students had to portion a full chicken and make a classical chicken dish in one hour. The second round was the beef round. A fillet of beef (that still had most of the carcass) had to be cleaned and beef cuts were to be presented. Then a classic beef dish had to be prepared as well. After completion of round two we had to jump straight into the theory test that both students had to take.
The following day we made our way to the kitchen and were glad to see yellowtail. We had to descale, gut and portion the round fish. It didn’t end there, still within the hour we had to fillet a sole and present raw in lattice state. Over and above this a fish dish still had to be prepared. We were then left waiting for the results as the judges took time to consult. We then had time to meet and talk to the judges and fellow contestants. The judges gave positive one-on-one criticism of what we did wrong and how to better ourselves. Overall everyone did well and we had to wait for the next day to find out who will win. HTA won but we left having learnt so much and are looking forward to the next competition.
On behalf of myself and the students, we would like to thank all those that supported us throughout the competition. Thank you and watch this space.
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