Westminster Kingsway Trio Make Final Three in South African Cuisine Chefs Competition

Three student chefs from Westminster Kingsway College were awarded first, second and third place at the South African Cuisine Young Chef of the Year competition on Monday.

The winner was 18 year-old Jordon Powell from West Sussex, who will be flying out to train in one of South Africa’s top restaurants later this year. Jordon studies at Westminster and has now joined Alyn Williams at The Westbury in Mayfair.

Jordon wowed the judges with his South African menu of:
• Biltong, fresh venison tartar and Excellence peaches
• Barracuda and spiced chakalaka, confit potato, Granny Smith apple and burnt, roasted and malted onion
• African Pride plums with black treacle, tonka bean and cardamom

Runners up were 17 year-olds Rick Owens (second place) and Amy Simmons (third place), both from Surrey.
They competed against eight other UK finalists, who were under the age of 25, either studying or already working in the food industry. Each entrant submitted their own South African menu, which incorporated a selection of plums, peaches, nectarines, apples and pears.

The competition aims to raise awareness of the use of South African fruit as chefs’ ingredients, and also highlight the part fruit farming has played in the development of South Africa and its rural communities in the past 20 years.

The judging panel included chef lecturer and author, Jose Souto; television chef and author, Sophie Michell; presenter and journalist, Aggie Mackenzie and chef patron of The Poet at Matfield, South African Petrus Madutlela.

Jordon said: “Before the competition began I was very nervous, after that the nerves went away once I got into the kitchen and started cooking. Luckily everything went to plan and I was very happy with how my dishes went out to the judges. Overall it was a very emotional day, but so worth all the work. I’m excited to continue learning about the cuisine in South Africa.