The Chaine des Rotisseurs Cook Islands organized the JCR “Young Chef of the Nation” competition for young chefs in Rarotonga. The finalist and winner was 22 year-old Puka Puka-born Ngmatua (Tua) Ngaro Tariau from OTB On The Beach Restaurant at Manuia Beach Resort.
This is the first time in history a Cook Islander took part in the most prestigeous and internationally recognized as the most difficult completion in the world. The winning finalists from around the world compete with little more than their knife set. Other basic cooking equipment will be provided by the host country.
Competitors are given a secret magic box with ingredients to write a menu, prepare, cook and serve a fine dining 3-course menu for 4 persons. Once the first course is served, every next course must be served within 15 minutes.
According to the Bailli Délégué (President) of the Cook Islands Chaîne chapter, Phillip Nordt, the Cook Islands is purposely increasing its profile as a sought-after destination for travellers who enjoy culinary experiences on their vacations. 21 nations were competing at the IB Hotel Competition Salon in Frankfurt. Countries like the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Malaysia etc…etc..and now the Cook Islands.”
Only place 1-3 is being awarded and the winner takes home a price package of around $ 30 000.00, including at Scholarship at the prestigious “Le Gordon Bleu” in Paris. Every competitor has gifted pure silver equipment and jewellery from Wempe Jeweller Frankfurt and Mr. Wuesthoff from Trident personally handed the newest Trident chefs knife to every competitor.
The surprise winner emerged as First Place being Malaysia, second place Netherlands and third place Australia….even though the Cook Islands was placed within the first 10, just qualifying for this event is an honour and a great, once in a lifetime achievement. The competitor can only enter the international competition once.
Cook Island Tourism part-sponsored the event and we thank them very much, as without CIIT we could not have competed. The Cook Island competitor made his country proud and received a standing ovation for his great efforts.
“Ultimately, we are trying to bring the young chefs of the world competition to the Cook Islands sometime in the future. That would certainly put the Cook Islands on the culinary world map!
“Overall we want to encourage visitors to come here for the food – another good reason to enjoy the Cook Islands!”
With 25,000 members worldwide, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is represented in over 80 countries bringing together enthusiasts who share the same values of quality, fine dining, the encouragement of the culinary arts, and ‘the pleasures of the table’.