Kapama Karula chef Gabriel Gopane recently won a coveted second place in the prestigious Jeunes Chef Rôtisseurs Lowveld competition, held in March. Gabriel’s trio of trout, duo of venison and prickly pear panacotta with homemade vanilla ice cream secured the award for him.
To enter the competition, chefs must be working in a Chaîne member establishment, be under the age of 27 years and have fewer than five years of professional cullinary experience.
On competition day, each chef is given an identical mystery basket of basic ingredients. The ingredients were chosen by the conseiller culinaire, while the regional vice conseiller culinaire cordinated the competition. Using the ingredients provided, chefs are required to compose a three-course menu for judging on the day.
Importantly, chefs had to create dishes with South African flavours, which included the following main ingredients from their mystery basket: trout, springbok loin, venison liver, prickly pear, beer and mussels. The menu must be decided within the first 30 minutes of the competition. Chefs are then given three-and-a-half hours to prepare and present the three required dishes on their individual menus - and present these to the judges.