Westminster Kingsway College student wins South African Young Chef of the Year competition

Westminster Kingsway College student wins South African Young Chef of the Year competition
WKC student Nikoleta Theofylaktidou crowned South African Young Chef of the Year 2019
01/04/2019 - 14:55
A student chef from Westminster Kingsway College in London has been crowned winner of the South African Young Chef of the Year 2019 competition.

Twenty-one-year-old Nikoleta Theofylaktidou, who is in her final year at the college studying for the Professional Chef Diploma, will now fly to South Africa to spend a week with award-winning restaurants, Reuben’s and La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, as her prize.

The national competition is part of the South African Fruit campaign in the UK. Young chefs, under the age of 25, enter a three-course menu based around plums, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears from the country. Entrants were encouraged to do research into South African cooking, culture, ingredients and flavours.

Theofylaktidou demonstrated a high level of knowledge through her menu of: monkfish with spiced sorghum, nectarine atchara and red wine glaze; venison loin with nut paprika crumble, peach pap, chakalaka and monkey’s gland sauce; and hazelnut milk tart with apple sorbet, salty granola and plum marmalade.

She said: "When I found out about the competition I knew I wanted to take part because South African cuisine isn’t something I’ve experienced. I learnt a lot about how ethical and high quality the country’s produce is. I’m so looking forward to the trip, especially working in two well-recognised restaurants, learning new techniques and increasing my knowledge. I also cannot wait to experience, in person, the South African culture and cuisine.”

The judging panel included chef lecturer and author, Jose Souto; South African-born chef patron at The Poet at Matfield, Petrus Madutlela; actress, presenter and author of Milly Cookbook, Nicola Millbank; founder of Eighty 20 Nutrition, Donna Crous; and manager of South African restaurant, High Timber, Neleen Strauss.

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