Nestlé Professional crowns Kenya's top Junior Chef

To Press Releases listNov 28, 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013…Leading food and beverage provider for the out-of-home segment, Nestlé Professional, has today selected and unveiled three junior chefs in a culmination of the inaugural Nestlé Professional Chefs’ Forum.

Launched in September, 120 Chefs from the country participated in the inaugural MAGGI® Chef forum, paving way for the second round where the final 10 were selected in a draw a fortnight ago. During the draw, the selection was conducted by hospitality students from Kenya Utalii College and the International Hospitality Training Institute (IHTI).

“If the number of entries we received for the MAGGI®junior Chef competition at the onset is anything to go by, it is just but one way of showcasing the amount of talent we have in the country,” said Rabie Issa, Country Business Manager, Nestlé Professional.  

The top 3 winners today were Corretta Akinyi from Ole Sereni, Kamal Singh from Haandi & Haveli Restaurants and Mildred Adhiambo from Tamarind Group.


The top Chef, Corretta Akinyi from Ole Sereni                        Winning meal she prepared during the competition

The top chef won a 3 day trip to visit the Electrolux Factory in Italy and spend time in the beautiful city of Venice, second chef a 5 day trip to Brussels including a 3 day seminar at Puratos University in Groot-Bijgarden, Belgium and the third a trip to the HOSTEX Expo 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.

The ten junior chefs who participated today were drawn from some of the country’s best hotels and restaurants.  They included: The Intercontinental, The Tamarind, Best western Premier, Pampa Churrascaria, Kivi Milimani Hotel, Ole Sereni, Lenana Mount Hotel, Pride inn Hotel, O'sinkirri restaurant and Haandi & Haveli Restaurant. The ten finalists will also be matched with hospitality students who will have the opportunity to work under the chefs for two weeks.  During today’s competition held at Utalii College, the students who selected the Chefs during the draw, worked closely with them as their assistants.

“Our students got a golden chance to interact and be inspired by professionals in the industry.  As mentors, professionals have played a most important role in developing tomorrow’s top chefs,” said Dr. Kenneth S. Ombongi, Principal, Kenya Utalii College.


The second chef, Kamal Singh from Haandi & Haveli Restaurants                         Winning meal he prepared during the competition

In just under two and a half hours, the chefs prepared a main course dish in an interactive cooking demo using Nestlé products - MAGGI® Rich Flavors and Cubes- and other raw ingredients of choice, battling it out for the top position.

“To keep up with discerning consumers and changing lifestyle needs, it is the chef’s responsibility to constantly innovate and refresh their skills. This is the only way we can maintain that edge in service delivery across the hospitality industry,” said Joseph Onchwati, Development Chef for Nestlé.

“In addition, we’re also looking at nurturing young skills and that is why we selected ten of the best students from Kenya Utalii College and IHTTI to intern with the professional chefs in the wake of the competition,” added Onchwati.

The judging criterion was an all-round assessment of the chef’s skills, from novelty and innovation, taste, presentation, work speed and ultimately work organization and cleanliness.

In the end, three winning recipes were selected by a judging panel that comprised of Chef Mohsine Korich a two time Michelin star chef, executive chef at the Fairview Hotel, Nic Wang’ondu, host of Mashiriki Mix, a lifestyle show on DSTV and Joseph Onchwati, Development Chef for Nestlé.

The MAGGI® junior Chef competition comes just in time when the country is preparing to host the premier Food and Hospitality Fair (HOSTEX) in March next year.

Editor’s Notes:

Nestlé Professional launched the inaugural Chefs' Forum on 19th September, targeting Kenya’s leading chefs in the country that saw over 120 Chefs and F& B Managers attend.

The Event was a platform to showcase the usage and attributes of the recently launched MAGGI® Rich Flavor Seasoning range as well as the MAGGI® Cubes. The forum was a brain child of the Nestlé EAR Development Chef- Joseph Onchwati who also conducted some live-cooking. The Chefs also had a chance to witness the production process at Nestle Nairobi factory.