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Learner artisan chefs shoot for the stars

First-year artisan chefs made the plates sing with joy in their examinations.

First-year learner artisan chefs from Ndikhoya Dinaledi Services (NDS) Academy were examined in an assessment at the Empact Group building in Frankenwald on November 14.

The main course was grilled hake served with tartar sauce, couscous and a Greek salad.

Ndikhoya Dinaledi means ‘shooting for the stars’, precisely what the Class of 2023 has achieved.

The 17 first-year NDS Academy artisan chefs presented guests with a three-course meal – a healthy starter, a fulfilling main, and a delectable dessert.

Estelle Holzhausen from NDS Academy’s marketing division enjoys her main course.

NDS Academy brand owner Lebogang Lekotoko, who has worked in food service management for three decades, expressed jovially that she felt as though the future was being re-written by her artisan chefs in training.

“Their mandate was to produce a three-course meal. The three-course meal is based on what they have been taught throughout the course of the year,” said Lekotoko. “I’m very happy when I see a first-year student being pulled out of their comfort zone, and pull off a beautiful three-course meal like we just had today.”

Lekotoko praised the Class of 2023, as well as their lecturer, Lethu Hlatswayo.

The starter is a lightly roasted crudites dish.

“I’m proud of them and their lecturer,” Lekotoko said. “For this qualification, they do theory, practical and work-placement. The story is in the plate.”

The starter served at the event was a delicious, perfectly seasoned, lightly roasted crudités. The main of grilled hake with tartar sauce, couscous, and Greek salad flew off plates as soon as it was served. Finally, the long-table of guests were indulged with poached pear served with berry ice cream, all of which were produced by the 17 first-years.

The artisan chef learners spent some of their year working in private hospitals as part of the practical component to their course.

For dessert, the NDS Academy’s class of 2023 served a delicious poached pear served with berry ice cream.

Empact Group’s CEO Alan Quinn shared his enjoyment and appreciation for what the Class of 2023 first-years had accomplished that year.

“It’s encouraging to see how they plate and put food together,” Quinn said. “I think their attention to presenting [food] to make it look appetising has been really good.”

The examination assessor, Chef Pontsho Mogoiwa, gave a summary of what she would be looking out for in grading the artisan chefs.

The first years plate the event’s main course. Back: Mqondisi Mdingi. Front: Mufunwawanga Netshiheni, Zandi Mahlangu, Thabo Stene, Reamogetse Mokgatle, Widness Mogashoa, Buhle Shange, Boipelo Maringa, Moyahabo Kobe and Lungile Tisana. Photos: Lebogang Tlou

“What atmosphere does the food create? Are people happy when they eat? So, what do they get from what they put in their mouths,” Mogoiwa said. “I’m looking for texture; I’m looking for colour; I’m looking for taste; ambience as well.”

Tshepo Maake, Busisiwe Ndhlovu, Nonkululeko Thwala and Kagiso Pitso are the other hands behind the delicious examination experience.

Related Article: Chef Nadia’s Tuscan white bean and prawn salad

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