The Capital Hotel School opened its doors in January 2001, with the aim of providing all-round training in Hospitality Management. In 2007, it expanded on this to include Professional Cookery in its portfolio. The school offers both part-time and full time courses in a variety of skills needed to be competitive in the hospitality industry. As part of the training, the students host themed evening where their skills can be exhibited to invited guests. And we managed to crack the nod for their Fusion Festival!
The Fusion Festival had a strong Asian theme, and everything, from the menu to the table settings, was created by the students. Clearly they’re a creative bunch, and the attention to detail was apparent.
They started us off with a shrimp cake served with a spicy peanut sauce and a homemade sweet chilli sauce. I’m not a big fan of sweet chilli sauce, but the spicy peanut sauce was amazing.
The Amuse Bouche was followed by a duck pancake starter. The shredded duck pancake was served with a red cabbage, mint, orange, and cashew tossed salad. The students also paired each course with a wine, and the starter was paired with a Van Loveren Neil’s Pick Colombar. In my books, you can’t go wrong with duck, and the student’s duck was perfectly prepared.
The main course was a Malaysian Coconut Chicken Laksa, served with a Van Loveren Daydream Chardonnay Pinot Noir. This meal was amazing – perfect for the rainy and cold weather outside. It was clear that a lot of thought and effort went into this dish, and the love and passion was evident on the plate. Well done to the students!
While all this was going on, Chef Alicia demonstrated how to prepare Ramen. I always thought Ramen was basically a bowl of runny noodles – apparently not! It is actually a very intricate way of combining different flavours and textures with the noodles. And it tasted amazing – time to go out and find some Ramen bars.
The whole evening was wonderfully executed – including the beautiful dessert!
The school’s MD, Ronel Bezuidenhout, told us that the young chefs were very nervous, as they’re not really used to being out front serving guests. But by the way they handled this event; they have nothing to worry about! It was fantastic to see the confidence of these young chefs of the future, and hats off to CHS for giving them the opportunity to follow their passion, and to get ‘real life’ experience as well! They also had to opportunity to pay it forward to their charity of choice – Child Welfare Tshwane, what a noble cause.
A big thank you to The Capital Hotel School for hosting us.
And this fortune cookie says it best: “Have a dream, make a plan and go for it”!
Check out the Capital Hotel School and the courses they offer – and share with any aspiring young chef you know – and I heard the rumour that there may be short/evening courses coming soon as well – can’t wait to hear all about it!
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