The Supreme Chef Kitchen is alive once more | Daily News


The Supreme Chef Kitchen is alive once more

A group of talented and passionate contestants are ready to battle it out on the Supreme Chef kitchen floor to claim the prized title and win the biggest opportunity of their lives.

“Supreme Chef,” the cooking competition show launched in 2018 by the Skills for Inclusive Growth (S4IG) Programme is an initiative of the Australian Government’s aid programme implemented jointly with Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations Ministry, aimed to empower and showcase emerging talent in the Polonnaruwa and Eastern region. The show has returned for its second season after a district-wide search in the region for home cooks who love to cook.

The culinary team including Chef Ben Fernando and Chef Wimal Wimalgoonarathna - Chef’s Guild Lanka along with Master Chef Australia 2019 contestant Dhayanie (Dee) Williams, Top 5 contestant Nicole Scott and Celebrity Chef Jimmy Shu auditioned over 500 amateur chefs. The team carefully evaluated and handpicked a group of aspiring chefs with fun personalities and a passion for cooking.

Kicking off the auditions, the cooks had to face two challenges during the casting call rounds. The first test was a basic Vegetable Dish in which contestants had the option to prepare either a stir-fry or korma within 15 minutes. The best 20 cooks amongst the contestants were then presented with a second challenge; the Local Ingredients Dish Challenge where they were expected to think on their feet and create a dish that includes a local ingredient within 20 minutes. It was crucial for them to make an impression as this challenge would narrow down 6 cooks from each district who will undergo an Intensive Training Course followed by the studio based competitions.

One of the specialties during the Season 2 auditions was, every district also had a kids demonstration led by the celebrity chefs and a cook-off between Chef Nicole and Chef Dee. These chefs were given a local delicacy to be presented with a twist of their own and this was done in a way to inspire creativity amongst the contestants and show them how to present something that they’re familiar with by adding a touch of international flavour.

This year’s open casting call was held in the four districts across two days, with a grand food festival followed by a cultural program. With a view of promoting local tourism in the districts, S4IG hosted the entire event in such a way that showcased cultural assets and culinary delights in each district during the auditions. The two-day traditional village food and cultural fair held in notable locations of the districts such as the Ampara Green Park, Batticaloa - Lanka Rest, Trincomalee - Hindu Cultural Hall and Polonnaruwa - Hotel Mahauge attracted large crowds both local and foreign. Local restaurants and small scale-entrepreneurs were able to use this event as a platform to participate and promote their businesses. A mix of stalls including food, handicrafts, as well as beauty therapy and pottery items were some of the main attractions.

There were also representatives from private universities, career guidance units as well as information centers on surfing and other attractions relevant to the location that perked the interest of many visitors. The cultural shows that followed displayed many forms of dance and song that were native only to each district.

A key partnership during this seasons’ auditions was that of S4IG and the World Food Programme (WFP) that came together to showcase healthy, low-cost yet nutritious food options using local ingredients for families. Visitors were able to taste the food and experience local cuisine at its best and healthiest through the WFP stall and demonstrations. S4IG has also partnered with Chef’s Guild Lanka to provide industry validation to the competition and to ensure quality judging standards of the competition.

The show is expected to find the country’s best food talent through a series of cooking challenges while promoting regional tourism and inspiring viewers to transform their lives through food. -NG

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