Kayla Kulman has been announced winner of the first ever Willowton Group Infochef 2018 after she created innovative and exciting canapés at this year’s event.
The competition which forms part of the Infochef Africa programme – hosted by the South African Chefs’ Association (SA Chef) – took place at Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg, from 25 to 26 July and saw six-up-and-coming chef via to prove their culinary skills for the top spot. Centred around the ‘Big 5’, each participant was required to prepare 10 units of five canapés in three hours using five of Willowton Group’s products.
Kayla Kuhlman (27), from Steyns Culinary School, took first prize in the recent Willowton Group Infochef 2018 Competition.
Infochef is an annual culinary event that provides the culinary industry with an opportunity to engage and network with fellow professionals.
The contestants had to create two sweet canapés using Allsome rice and WoodenSpoon white margarine; sweet and sour savoury canapés using Sunfoil sunflower oil; a seafood canapé using Sunfoil canola oil; and a savoury canapé using Sunshine D original margarine.
The final canapés were tasted and assessed by the judging panel consisting of SA Chef-accredited judges, George Georgiou, Jelele Mokhine, Richard Pearce, Coovashan Pillay and Pinky Maruping.
Despite this being only her second week at Steyns Culinary School, Kayla Kuhlman’s gourmet canapés saw her taking home the top prize of R10,000. These included sweet arancini with ginger chocolate ganache filling; seafood en brouchette with aioli; rare steak and smoked black tomatoes on a tomato butter crostino; cake pops; and chakalaka on a polenta square with herb mayo.
Commenting on the win, Kayla said she was fulfilling her childhood dream of a career in cooking, stating: “It still feels like a dream! Winning this competition has made me feel that I am in the right place now, on the right career path, and culinary school is where I should be.”
“Willowton Group seeks to support and empower youngsters by exposing them to the various careers within the food industry,” said David Sweidan, Willowton Group Marketing Executive. “The participants in the Willowton Group Infochef 2018 Competition demonstrated incredible talent under extreme pressure, while also using the popular Willowton Group food products in clever and creative ways. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Kayla Kuhlman, it was a hard-fought and well-deserved victory!”
Each participant received a Sunfoil Goodie Bag while the top three also received caoch brand