Young Culinary Talents run the gauntlet in Nestlé Ja’s Iron Chef Challenge
Nestle Professional, the Nestle Food Service business arm, served as patron for an Iron Chef Culinary Challenge in the corporate kitchen of Nestle Jamaica Limited recently.
On this occasion, six young Jamaican chefs from the Young Culinary Talents (YOCUTA) Programme had an opportunity to exhibit their culinary skills and nutrition mastery.
The YOCUTA program, which kicked off in tandem with the 2018 internship programme Nestle Needs YOUTH, is real-world preparation of young culinary students through theoretical and practical cooking experiences that acclimatises them for work in the hospitality industry.
For the Iron Chef display, each talent was presented with five mystery ingredients from the Nestle portfolio from which to compose five dishes. Culinary savant, Elite Creations and The Pallet principal Shea Stewart shared snapshots of his journey to becoming a chef ahead of the competition encouraging the participants to persevere in spite of the obstacles. Stewart served as the primary adjudicator for the cooking competition.
Moe'sha Grant, a 2018 YOCUTA intern, expressed pleasure with her experiences in the program thus far.
"The highlight of being a YOCUTA chef, is working with the culinary entrepreneurs associated with Nestle. We learn a lot from them and from collaborating with each other in the kitchen."
This batch of interns was under the tutelage of chef Shea Stewart, Cordon Bleu alumnus Terri-Ann Brown of Kukup Kreations, and resident Nestle culinary specialist Tonia Black.
The 2018 cohort was extracted from the HEART Trust/NTA; University of West Indies, Mona; and the University of Technology, Jamaica's hospitality departments.
Brian Hanson, country business leader for Nestle Professional, welcomed the relaunch of the youth culinary initiative and said : "This is a great program for Nestle as we continue the development of our youth across all markets, Jamaica being no exception. We have a wealth of talent across various fields, and Nestle Professional, the business arm which focuses on food service, is proud to be partner to the development of culinary talent in this vital sector."
"Nestle is committed to training future generations in the culinary world, to training better chefs and facilitating experiences to guarantee better job opportunities," Hanson concluded.