Last Sunday, the dishes of the participants in the Kitchen Battle competition, organized by Digital Challenge and TéléPlus in collaboration with Tea Blenders Ltd (TBL Ltd), were examined by a jury made up of experienced chefs and members of the Mauritian chef. Association (MCA). 16 candidates managed to collect enough points to get into the battles. They meet the standards set by chefs. Meeting with the jury.
Out of a hundred participants registered in the kitchen competition, 16 participants were selected. The heavy selection task rests with the jury made up of chefs who are members of the Mauritius Chefs Association (MCA), Vigranand Kalua, Avinash Chinatur, Veron Pillay and Richard Cathan.
From the simplest and tastiest of dishes, to the most elaborate and elaborate, the chefs had a lot to do during the tests held on Sunday 8 May at the Télé Plus building in Port-Louis. The Kitchen Battle jury members were enticed by the overflowing creativity that the candidates demonstrated. Despite being amateurs, some of the participants immediately set the standards too high.
Thus, to help them choose, the jury had to evaluate them according to several predetermined criteria: presentation, temperature of the dish, taste and balance of flavors, textures, suitability of the recipe and its properties. execution. They were also judged by their knowledge of the ingredients used and their techniques.
Chef Vigranand Kalua: “Passion should be the driving force… the rest will follow”
Vijranand Kallooa, 63, is Executive Chef at Hotel Ambre and also Treasurer of the Mauritius Chefs Association. He is a World Master Chef certified by City & Guilds in Great Britain and awarded the Certified Executive Chef Medal by Worldchefs. With 46 years of experience under his belt, he is a veteran in his field. He started his career at One&Only Le Saint Geranne as an assistant chef in 1975. Thereafter, thanks to his numerous travels and training in different parts of the world, he found himself in the major leagues. In 1996 and 2010, he was appointed Executive Chef for the Coco Beach and Long Beach hotels respectively, before joining the Ambre Hotel two years later.
Despite his long experience in cooking, he admits that he never stops learning. “I was pleasantly surprised and some of the dishes inspired me for my hotel menu,” he said. It is believed that the candidates still need supervision, especially in terms of the proportion of dishes. “We will be there to guide and advise them. I am happy to see that people are still heading into the kitchen. Passion should be their driving force… and the rest will follow.
Chef Avinash Chinatour: “Participants were judged first by taste”
Chef Avinash Chinatour made his debut at Le Touessrok from 1998 to 2003 before traveling to London where he worked in a supermarket and learned the profession of a baker. We have been developing in this field for nine years. Returning to Mauritius, he took off on entrepreneurship, but was soon overtaken by his passion for cooking. From 2012 until now, he works at the Ambre Hotel as an assistant chef.
He is a regular at cooking competitions. In fact, he sat as a jury member at Sir Gaëtan Duval Hotel School as well as in a national cooking competition. Based on his solid experience, he said that he was pleasantly surprised by the level of some of the candidates. “Four dishes were unexpectedly loud. Candidates were judged first based on taste. We advise them to document the dish before giving it its title and to make sure it contains essential ingredients even if it is disorganized. Young and old need to pursue their love of cooking,” he notes.
Chef Veron Pillay: ‘There are no hidden talents in the hotel industry alone’
He has 42 years of experience in the hotel industry. Chef Veron Pillay started his career at the Merville Hotel before moving to several other hotels. For 30 years, he developed at Shandrani as Assistant Chef, then Head Chef. A finalist in the Meilleur Ouvrier de Maurice competition in 2018, Veerun Pillay has been a national and international jury since 2014. This consultant at Plaisance Catering and Event Manager within MCA says he has discovered potential in the candidates’ different dishes. “I appreciate the motivation of the participants. Many people participated in the cooking fun contest. It is proof that cooking has no limits. Some signed up just to share their experience. He pointed out that hidden talents are not only in the hotel industry. For him, even if some skimp on the show. presentation, they stay on the right track.” We’ll be there to advise them. He says.
Chef Ricardo Cathan: “All candidates deserve their place in this competition”
Computer scientist by profession, Ricardo Cathan works as an assistant secretary and director of human resources within MCA. A lover of cooking, he lives in this world since his childhood. However, he did not discover this hidden talent until after his marriage. He finished among the five finalists in a national cooking competition and later joined MCA in 2020 before launching their specialty paella catering service.
Ricardo Cathan works as a facilitator to help students and chefs in Mauritius obtain contracts and internships in hotels in Mauritius and abroad. He was the first chef to present the culinary show “Cuit Vidé”, created by Défi Digital and since then has given several others. He explained, “When I saw the candidates, I thought to myself that I was in their place a few years ago. They are amateurs of a good standard. If we could pick everyone, we would, because all the candidates deserve their place in this competition. Everyone who cooks at home is a chef in their own way. “. He will be present to give advice and advice to the candidates during the competition.