The Australia-Pacific Technical College’s (APTC), National Trainer for Commercial Cookery, Ms. Alisi Delai was part of a group of 12 outstanding Fijian female chefs, who successfully competed in the Master Class Fiji cooking competition that recently concluded on 16 November.
The Coliseum, an events and travel company, organised the competition, to encourage more women to pursue a profession in the culinary field.
Mr Valentin Corchado, Managing Director of The Coliseum, explained: “We feel there is not enough gender balance in our kitchens, so to promote more females in the commercial kitchen environment and have them stay in the industry, we introduced Master Class Fiji where executive chefs help develop professionals – their attitude, skills and learning capabilities – through various culinary demonstrations.”
He said that he is proud to see the support of APTC in training more culinary professionals through its Certificate III in Commercial Cookery program.
APTC is an innovative development project funded by the Australian Government, delivering Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers for skilled workers across the Pacific
Second place winner, Ms Delai said, she was delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in the competition.
“It was a wonderful experience. I competed with other female chefs who have their own challenges, responsibilities and amazing stories to tell. I learned a lot during this competition, which will come in handy, especially when I conduct training for future chefs,” she said.
The participants were judged on key areas including preparation of equipment and food, use of right cooking methods and instructions, as well as presentation and taste of the different dishes they prepared.
The first round of the competition was hosted at the APTC Pacific Fusion Restaurant at The University of the South Pacific in Suva. Subsequent sessions were held at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort in the Coral Coast, Nadi Sport Club and Sheraton Fiji, Nadi.
Guest judges included leading chefs from leading hotels such as Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sofitel, Grand Pacific Hotel, Wakaya Club and Spa, Six Senses Fiji and Kokomo Island.
This is the second time APTC has participated in a Master Class Fiji event. Earlier this year, Ms Delai and APTC’s Patisserie Trainer, Ms Amanda Young conducted a patisserie class at the first 2017 Master Class Fiji event, where they prepared an ‘edible garden’ dessert using blown sugar and other ingredients.