Teen chef from Seychelles to take part in global culinary competition in India

A young Seychellois chef feels confident as he readies for his participation in the Young Chef Olympiad competition that will take place next year in India.

The Young Chef Olympiad is a competition that creates an international platform for the interaction of young professional culinary talent from around the world. The fourth edition of the Olympiad will be taking place between January 28 and February 2, across four Indian cities. Competitors will take part from 50 countries.

Representing Seychelles is Emmanuel Lesperance, a first-year food preparation student from the Seychelles Tourism Academy.

I feel proud and excited to be representing Seychelles, but at the same time, I am feeling a little anxious, said Lesperance.

Lesperance, 17, was the winner of the internal culinary competition for the culinary students of the academy held earlier this year. A total of 18 students took part.

I think that it was my creativity and determination that allowed me to come in first place. Preparing my dish, I tried my best to come up with and create something new, said Lesperance.

Organised by the Indian Ministry of Tourism and the International Institute for Hotel Management, the Olympiad comprises of three rounds. Round one, which will take place in Delhi, Bangalore and Pune, will test the participants' basic skills of following a recipe and presenting.

You just have to apply everything and will be judged on how that has been done. It is logical that you will have added a personal touch to it though, said Jamie Sanders, the mentor of Lesperance. He will be accompanying the student to India.

The second round, to take place in Kolkata, will test their creativity, innovation and cooking techniques. They will have to prepare a three-course vegetarian and vegan lunch, with ingredients that are already known to the competitors.

Kolkata will also host the final where the competitors with the 10 best aggregated scores will go head to head for first place.

The 17-year-old said that though he hasn't started preparations with his mentors yet, he is already thinking of combinations that he can use.

It will most probably be international dishes as the ingredients that will be given to us will cater for that and not local dishes, said Lesperance.

Two other Seychellois chefs as well as the International Sales and Promotion Company (ISPC) - a Belgian company based in Seychelles - will be helping Lesperance get ready for the competition.

Lesperance recently met with the 115-island archipelago's tourism minister, Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, who said that the competition will further strengthen the bilateral relation between Seychelles and India.

It is always good when competency and talents get rewarded. I am happy that the academy has found it fit to take part in this Olympiad and let us hope that we can take part every year, the minister said.

He also presented Lesperance with a recipe book called Fish and Seafood � Recipes of the Seychelles Island. Flavien Joubert is the author of the book that will be launched soon.

The student along with his mentor and an official from the tourism academy, Murla Gabriel, will leave the country on January 26 and return on February 3.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

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