Les Roches bachelor in international hospitality management student Ashley Clarise Widjaja has been selected to participate in the 2nd edition of the Young Chef Olympiad in India, which will take place this week. Before her departure we took some time to catch up with her and find out more about the secret recipe that she hopes (and we too!) will help her make it to the grand final in Kolkata.
- Where does your passion for cooking come from?
I’ve always loved to cook since I was young, but it was never something professional until recently. My favorite part of travelling is being able to explore different cuisines and go to different restaurants. Generally speaking, when I have nothing to do, the first thing that comes to my mind is going to a restaurant (she laughs).
- What is the Young Chef Olympiad about?
Young Chef Olympiad is an international culinary competition held by the Indian Institute of Hospitality and Management, with collaboration of the Indian ministry of tourism.
It is the world’s biggest culinary competition for students. There are 67 students (each student representing the country they study at) competing in this whole competition.
I was selected through an internal competition held at Les Roches.
- What are your expectations?
I hope to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. I’m just really making the best out of this opportunity, and I know that this will be extremely valuable for my future. And, of course I hope to at least be among top 10 finalists, but will see!
Les Roches has definitely helped me in pursuing my passion for cooking. I have really supportive teachers (chefs) and all of them have guided me through the essential basics of working in the kitchen. They have also developed my creativity, and most importantly, they have challenged me to thrive and achieve more.
- What’s the biggest challenge that you will face?
I think the most important part of competing is time management and the general organisation of how we work. I have been working on that during my 10 days of training at RACA (Royal Academy of Culinary Arts), before departing to India.
- What will be your recipe for the competition?
We were given a prescribed basket of ingredients, so i can’t put in any special ingredients outside of the basket. About the recipe, as you will understand I have to keep it for myself until the end of the competition. I want to keep it secret before my counterparts 😉
Want to watch the competition live? We will be live broadcasting the Young Chef Olympiad on Periscope. Check out the schedule of events and make sure to download the app and follow @LesRochesNews to watch it live.