Hirsch Milnerton hosted the Junior Super Chef 2016 semi finals recently, which had 10 contestants aged 8 – 13 cooking up a signature dish in one hour from a mystery bag of ingredients. With prizes, for the winner of the finals, to the value of R80,000 from Defy and Snappy Chef, children with intermediate cooking skill level from all around Cape Town came prepared to put their culinary knowledge to the test and have fun doing it. Margaret Hirsch welcomed the contestants, audience and judges, reiterating the Hirsch commitment to youth development and motivation, followed by PRO Monique vd Walt introducing the judges. Four industry-professional judges, and two assistants judged contestants on planning, organization & cooperation, clean-up, variety & balance, preparation & presentation, taste, initiative & ambition. The oldest cooking school in South Africa, Silwood Cookery School sent vice-principal, teacher and cook-book author Carianne Wilkinson and Sara Araujo who has worked at SA’s no 1 restaurant, the Test Kitchen and is competing her Diploma at Silwood. Chef Jody Carolus and two assistants from Capsicum Culinary Studio also joined the judging table as well as the General Manager of Blowfish Restaurant, Marc Scheidel who has 15 years industry experience. In the end it was Ziyaad Gamieldien of Parow Primary that took the Runner Up position with crispy chicken strips with steamed-to-perfection broccoli and cauliflower doubling as decor, and perfectly done pasta with expert-level creamy cheese sauce and garnished with parsley. The winner was Zayaan Ebrahim of Garden’s Commercial; she prepared red pepper stuffed chicken breast with crumbed mushrooms and a pepper and mushroom pasta beautifully presented, garnished and delicious too! On Friday the 20th Team Hirsch Milnerton will host the Hirsch Junior Chef Finals where the runner up and winner from both Western Cape stores will compete for the Western Cape Hirsch Junior Super Chef title. Here the contestants will have to up their game, as they will receive a completely different mystery basket, consisting of more of luxury 5 star ingredients. Watch this space!