The long-awaited ESF “Chef of the Year” Finals were held on the 27th May, and this year’s theme was “Street Food”. The finalists were tasked with creating a dish that exhibited local foods but with a twist. 17 students from a selection of international schools throughout Hong Kong such as STC, Discovery College (DC), King George V School (KGV), South Island School (SIS), Island School (IS), and West Island School (WIS) competed against each other in a culinary battle, cooking their dishes to perfection.
Students were extremely inventive with their dishes, drawing out vibrant flavours in the wide variety of food styles from all over the world.
“I made a Caribbean inspired dish, which consisted of jerk chicken with a pineapple and rum pipette, along with a coleslaw,” said Man Lam Cheng from STC. “As for the sweet part, I made a coconut rice pudding, which is a play on traditional rice and peas served with jerk chicken.”
Karen Chan, also from STC, who participated in the Junior section , said, “we made a delicious Indian-inspired English style fish and chips for the main course, and for dessert, we made a Marsala tea ice cream infused with a variety of spices.” She also added, “We created an orderly time plan that allowed us to operate as efficiently as possible.”
The judges, consisting of Mrs Belinda Greer, CEO of ESF; Fabrizio Napolitano, Head Chef of NOM (Not Only Meatballs); Edgar Sanuy, Executive Chef for Maximal Concepts; Matt Casey from Relish; and Gregoire Michaud from Bread Elements, were all highly impressed with the high level of skills showcased by contestants. When asked to describe the day in one word, the judges promptly answered, “amazing.”
“The students were very creative, well organised, and had lots of passion. Today was a lot of fun, with good spirits and a positive atmosphere, making it extremely hard to judge,” they remarked. “It’s good to know the younger generation can cook!”
The winner of the Senior section was Shiena Nishimura, from SIS. In second place was Masanori Wong from KGV and in third place was Man Lam Cheng from STC. For the Junior section, the winners were Yash Anamd and Alexandro Lucchini from Island School; followed by Danielle Mamom and Nishani Turner of KGV in second place; and Maddie Kwan and Gabby Kwan from SIS in third place.
“I made a Takoyaki Style Gougere with a tiramisu for dessert,” said Shiena Nishimura from SIS, winner of the Senior section. “and I think things went really well today. I managed to keep my food warm and the cream in the dessert was pretty fluffy, so I think that helped make a better impression for the judges and I’m very proud of my own work.”
STC’s participation in this year’s “Chef of the Year” was truly phenomenal and everyone agreed apart from the delicious food, the most important part of the competition were the new friendships that had formed along the way!
Many thanks to all the teachers and student helpers for making the competition a huge success!
Emily Wong, 9G2
View more photos of the event here.