Medal-winning performance by Outrigger Fiji chefs

The Fiji National Culinary Team, represented by two Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort chefs, has taken home bronze in Olympic-like fashion at a contest held in Auckland, New Zealand.

Outrigger Chefs Mohammed Shammer and Navneet Reddy were awarded the medal in the Gourmet Pacific Challenge 2016 that also included six teams from Australia, New Zealand and Guam.

This was the first international competition for both chefs who had previously been named Fiji Chef of the Year and Fiji Junior Chef of the Year, respectively, in Fiji’s signature chef’s competition, the Moffat Salon Culinare.

The competition criteria were to prepare a three-course meal for six people with a kitchen team comprising one chef and one commis chef under 25 years of age.

The dishes had to include specific ingredients, including Fonterra cheese as the main entree ingredient; Waitoa free-range chicken and a minimum of three fresh New Zealand vegetables for the main course; and any Nestle product for dessert.

Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort Executive Chef Shailesh Naidu said the Gourmet Pacific contest had been tough and challenging for his team, particularly working with different ingredients and in an unfamiliar environment. “It was good to see what other countries were presenting and their food trends, and it was motivating to see how the profession is becoming so highly recognized throughout the Pacific,” he said.

The Outrigger chefs won bronze for creating an entrée of avocado lime cheesecake with fried cheese balls, orange, ginger shot and petite salad. This was followed by a main course of pot smoked free- range chicken with lime and ginger, stuffed cottage cheese and prunes accompanying a mini chicken pie over avocado puree, buttered vegetables and rich chicken glaze.

Dessert was a soft chocolate bar with white chocolate mousse in sugar balls accompanied by mint macaroons and a berry compote.

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