Lifestyle Editor (Source: The Herald)
Great chefs are made not born, but they certainly need the highest level of inspiration to achieve that exalted status. Last week on Friday a few people had the chance to witness a quick view into the process that goes into making great chefs at the Culinary Arts Academy along Old Enterprise Road in Newlands. Guests included the families of students and the country’s top chefs in the form of Chef Gonzo from Meikles Hotel and Chef Leonard Moyo from African Sun.
The academy which is the first of its kind in the country was holding a French themed dinner.
In a city with very few restaurants offering the vaunted French faire, this in itself was a welcome difference to the usual outing.
But what made the night stand out even more was the fact that everything was in the hands of the chefs in training. Diploma students who are in their second year of study were preparing the food under the guidance of one of them who was the executive chef for the night.
Certificate students in their first year of study also got to taste the action, albeit as waiters.
It was an experience for the guests and the hosts. An endearing aspiring chef called Kyle served my table and he managed to steer us through some odd moments with a smile.
I started off with a rather piquant dish of strips of chicken breast served on red cabbage.
My appetite was whetted for the lamb chops and potatoes. But the head chef had failed to predict the eaters’ preferences and the lamb ran out so I settled for fish. It was not disappointing.
For the sweet I had a peach and strawberry cream tart which was splendid. Of course all the food had fancy French names and was done in veritable French style.
It was not quite a five star night, but it was definitely much fun and perhaps one day I will be able to remind a few great chefs that I ate their food when they were still on the way to greatness!
The idea of the themed nights is that chefs must understand the whole industry as most of them will probably end up as self-employed entrepreneurs who must manage a whole business and not just be able to turn out superb meals under the worst pressure.
Students also get first hand experience of what it takes to be in the business of feeding people from various walks of life. And it is not all work and no play.
Two of the chefs took the mike and serenaded the guests. One could definitely forget about cooking and make music his career but the other had better keep her hands in the dough, so to speak.
In addition to the full time courses for those who mean business, Culinary Arts Academy also offers short courses for those who would just like to do it for themselves and those who have to suffer through their burnt offerings daily.
- Published in News & Updates