USAPEEC organises cooking competition and virtual training for student chefs

Social Cooking Competition
Cooking Competition

Student chefs in Technical Universities in Ghana had the opportunity to exhibit their cooking skills in an exciting cooking competition organised by the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC).

Eight Technical Universities with their selected best student chefs participated in the competition, which was aimed at contributing to the holistic development of young Ghanaian chefs as they learn, compete and share creative ideas.

Mr. Jonathan Gabriel Lamie of the Accra Technical University emerged as the overall winner with Ms. Anita Abbey of the Koforidua Technical University and Mr. Edward Ekow Asankoma Sam from Sunyani Technical University placing second and third respectively.

For their prizes, Mr Lamie took home a 200 litre Chest Freezer, an embroidered chef’s Jacket & Cap plus a certificate.

Anita also received a single door 136 litre fridge/Freezer plus a certificate while Edward received a Cake Mixer and a certificate.

The first prize winner would in addition get a 4-month industrial attachment at Ghana’s premier 5-Star Hotel, Labadi Beach Hotel, under the supervision of renowned Chef, Gary Lane.

The winning team’s university took home a large size Chest Freezer and a plaque of honour.

The Second team’s university also received 5-burner gas cooker with grill and oven plus a Plaque of honour, while the third team’s university got a 4-burner gas cooker with grill and oven plus plaque of honour.

Judges for this year’s competition were drawn from the hospitality industry as well as academia with good understanding of the industry, and had carved a niche for themselves in their various fields of endeavor.

A press release issued and signed by Mr. Daniel Ansong, Executive Director of Zesty Knowledge, representatives of USAPEEC in Ghana, said the event was geared towards enabling student chefs to exhibit their creative skills in chicken, duck, turkey and processed egg recipes, to expose them to the international best practices.

It also prepared them for an ever-growing local and international hospitality industry.

The release said USAPEEC was and continued to be at the forefront of helping build professionals within the hospitality sector through their innovative training and cooking competition among the Technical Universities in Ghana.

According to the release, the first edition of the competition was held in 2015 at the Kumasi Technical University, where Ms Sophia Ekua Hammond of the Kumasi Technical University emerged, the overall winner.

The winning prize allowed Ms Hammond to travel to the United States of America for a week of training at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), New York.

The second edition was held at the Flair Catering Institute in 2016 where Miss Rejoice Akukumah Mayoe of the Koforidua Technical University was adjudged the winner.

The third edition came on, at the Flair Catering Institute in 2017, where Ms Josephine Ngenba-Engaa of the Tamale Technical University won.

Both Ms Mayoe and Ms Ngenba-Engaa, travelled to New York, for training at ICE, a prestigious culinary institution and their experiences and exposure were reported to be a huge success and a life changing experience.

The fourth edition, in 2019 was won by Ms Evelyn Benyiwa Yankson from the Ho Technical University and she had a six-month fully paid industrial attachment with Ghana’s premium 5-star hotel, Labadi Beach Hotel, who were sponsors of the prize.

“In a bid to make the experience accessible and beneficial to many more students, USAPEEC came up with a training programme to precede the cooking competition. This was a great innovation that all stakeholders embraced”, the release said.

The 2019 edition, it indicated, saw the expansion of the base, to include a pre-training workshop for 100 students drawn from the HCIM Department of the Technical Universities.

This year’s training was held virtually, due to the COVID-19 and its associated restrictions, but USAPEEC simultaneously connected students from all the eight technical Universities to Chef David Bonom’s kitchen in New York, USA, and a total of over 1,400 students benefited from the two-day virtual training.

USAPEEC expressed gratitude to Heads of Department (HODs), of the Hospitality Departments of the participating Technical Universities for their contribution as stakeholders, hard work and dedication to students’ growth and development which made the two events successful.

It assured the Ghanaian public of its commitment to promote the consumption of wholesome chicken as an essential nutritional component of human food with essential minerals and micro-nutrients for growth and wellbeing.

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