Léo Mayer, 12 years old, is the big winner of the “Les Petits Chefs en Herbe” competition, the final of which was held on June 9 at the SVICC, in Pailles, as part of the Food and Well-being Festival . Leo’s dish, prepared “For a dinner for mom and dad”, won him first place, followed by Jemima and Shaan.

They are small, of course, but showed a lot of creativity during the “Les Petits Chefs en Herbe” competition, organized by Events Plus in partnership with Radio Plus, TéléPlus, and Le Défi Media Group. The theme for this finale was “I’m making dinner for mom and dad.” For this test, participants had to prepare a main dish with chicken as the required product, accompanied by vegetables, as well as a fruit salad. They had 45 minutes to complete everything.

Léo Mayer, 12 years old, resident of Gros-Bois, charmed the jury with his chicken dish with mustard cream, his face-shaped salad, a drink and his fruit salad. Opposite him, Shaan Poonit and Jemima Jean-Nicole did not stand out with their well-prepared and tasty dishes.

Jemima, 10 years old, living in Mahébourg, prepared chicken with mushrooms and sauce, accompanied by vegetables, a drink and a fruit salad. Shaan, 9 years old, chose to prepare creamed chicken cutlets, accompanied by tomatoes and mushrooms stuffed with cauliflower semolina, without forgetting a drink and a fruit salad.

The little chefs were judged on their creativity, food balance, taste, work organization, technique and cleanliness. The jury had no shortage of praise for the finalists.

“The finale was more complex, because the little ones had a mandatory ingredient: chicken. The chicken was raw and needed to be shaped. The candidates showed imagination and knew how to manage their time. In addition, each child was able to put their identity through their dish. Everyone had their own style,” emphasizes Emmanuelle Coquet, Promotion Director of Bocuse d’Or Mauritius.

For his part, Renaud Azema found that the finalists knew how to manage their stress and showed commitment.

“There was such commitment from the finalists who also knew how to manage their stress. With the chefs at their side for a little help, it is already a step towards the transmission of knowledge, and I hope that these little chefs will one day become great chefs,” confides Renaud Azéma, general manager of Vatel Mauritius – Hotel & Tourism Business School.

Chef Nizam Peeroo believes that this competition allowed the children to share their passion with others.

“The children were very calm, confident, and shared their passion for cooking with us. They represent the future of tomorrow’s cuisine,” underlines Nizam Peeroo, president of Bocuse d’Or Mauritius.

Lalaina Ravelomanana, Malagasy chef at the Petit Marais restaurant in Madagascar, who was part of the jury, indicates that the children were “exceptional”.

Jerry Bastiaan, Program Director of Bocuse d’Or Mauritius, recalled the importance of transmission between the oldest and the youngest.

Note that Léo won a 2-night stay for 4 people at the Casuarina Resort & Spa, as well as a series of gifts offered by L’Epicerie, Stoneline, Freelance Distributors, Panzani, R& R Rapid Services, QBL and Moroil. The other 8 participants also won several gifts.

The competition

It was on Saturday June 8 that the competition began with nine participants: Naomi, Mia, Aimelyne, Léo, Andrew, Shaan, Teshini, Ryan and Jemima, aged 8 to 13, selected for the qualifiers.

These young chefs brilliantly demonstrated their culinary skills during the competition qualifiers, where they had to prepare a complete breakfast including cereals, fruit, an omelette and a drink. The theme of this first test was “I make myself a great breakfast”.

They had 45 minutes to do this. On this occasion, the competition partners set up a stand where young people were able to stock up on vegetables, fruits, eggs and other ingredients needed to prepare their dishes.

After tasting, the jury qualified Shaan, Teshini, Ryan, Jemima, Léo and Naomi for the semi-final. The next day, Sunday June 9, the competition continued with the semi-final event, where the 6 participants had to prepare a “Lunch for the family”. To do this, they had 45 minutes to prepare a dish with pasta and sauce, as well as a salad. Finally, after 45 minutes of competition, it was Jemima, Léo and Shaan who qualified for the final.

Please note that the competition is sponsored by: Innodis, Nestlé, Inicia, Freelance Distributors, Quality Beverages Ltd, Panzani, Fiou-Ki, Bocuse d’Or, Vatel Mauritius – Hotel & Tourism Business School, Proxifresh, Cuisine Intégrale, Moroil, Stoneline and The Grocery Store.

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