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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Student bags silver in 2024 Young Chef Olympiad in India

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Filipino culinary arts student Clifford Jeff Unabia, the lone representative from the Philippines, won the silver medal in this year’s Young Chef Olympiad (YCO) in India.

The YCO, organized by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM), challenged talented hopefuls from across 60 countries for their creativity, innovation, and speed in the preparation of chicken and vegetarian dishes, plus pastries and desserts.

Launched in 2015, the worldwide tilt serves as an avenue for young individuals to immerse themselves in various traditions, customs, and tastes.

During the global competition, Unabia initially showcased his skills as he prepared roasted pumpkin and sweet potato gnocchi with spiced coconut sauce garnished with camote chips, fried okra, and cilantro oil. He advanced to the semifinals.

The 22-year-old visionary likewise prepared a cajun spice-millet crusted chicken breast, chicken roulade filled with bamboo shoots, carrots, and basil with sides of carrot-ginger puree, saffron fondant potato, sauteed broccoli, and Paris Brest for the final round.

The homegrown talent from the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (SHRIM) recounted that his challenges and hardships during the training and tastings were all worth it.

“The significant lesson I have learned is to get out of your comfort zone and always do your best, especially when you pursue your passion for it will help you grow,” he stated.

For the tournament, Unabia was mentored by industry practitioner and Benildean educator Chef Kannan Sreedevi.

The expert described Unabia as a diligent trainee in making quick decisions during the tourney. “His independent nature is definitely one aspect that helped us win this recognition,” he added.

Benilde Culinary Arts Program Chairperson Margarita Marty also echoed the observations of Sreedevi. She noted that Unabia is a punctual, open-minded, and hardworking learner.

“He did his tasks properly, and he was always willing to excel in his craft,” she beamed.

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