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Chef school fundraises for competitions

by Lesotho Times


donabalos-students-preparing-for-the-two-international-competitions-4Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU-BASED Dona@Balos Chef School and Hospitality has lined up a number of activities to fundraise for the participation of 12 students’ in culinary competitions in Ghana and the United Arab Emirates.

According to the institute’s Managing Director Donald Moletsane, five diploma students are set to compete at the All Africa People’s Imbizo in Ghana scheduled for 24-29 September this year against 100 chefs from 11 countries.

Seven others are also set to compete at the Alan Thong Young Chefs Golden Coffee Pot competition in Abu Dhabi running from 7-15 December 2016.

He said participation in the competitions was meant to give the students exposure and foster the development of the local culinary sector.

“Five of my diploma students will compete in Ghana this month against contestants from 11 countries, while seven others will face off against the rest of the world in Abu Dhabi in December,” said Moletsane.

“The students have been learning the ropes of the trade at our Dona@Balos Restaurant and their handiwork has even been lauded by the Tourism minister (Likeleli Tampane). So I believe they are all set for the task at hand.”

He expressed confidence they would fare well since 12 Dona@Balos Chef and Hospitality School students last year notched accolades during a continental competition.

The 12 students competed in the Nelson Mandela Culinary Cup in Johannesburg last September where they clinched the third position against 12 African countries including Morocco, Namibia, Congo Brazzaville and South Africa.  They were also runner ups in the same competition in the Barbecue Braai category after preparing Sephaphatha with chicken livers.

The students also competed in the African Culinary Cup (AAC) held in Namibia last October against contestants from Africa and the Middle East. The Dona@Balos Chef School and Hospitality students also won the Best Skilled Development Certificate at the AAC.

“Last year, we clinched the third position in a major tournament with certificate-level students against contestants from 12 African countries. So I believe the upcoming competitions will be a walk in a park for our diploma students,” he said.

However, Moletsane indicated they did not have enough money to foot the transport and other costs of participating in the competitions.

“Last year, the Ministry of Tourism footed our transport costs. But, unfortunately we have no financial backing this year as the ministry’s focus is on the Independence preparations,” he said.

“The only funds emanate from the students’ school fees. So, in order to raise more funds, we will be hosting a number of events at the restaurant. We started holding the events last weekend with the students preparing and serving different international dishes from countries such as Italy, France and Mexico among others.”

Moletsane also revealed a pageant was lined up for Saturday as part of the fundraising efforts.

“The 2016 Miss Queen of Tourism pageant will be held at our restaurant with the proceeds thereof going to be channeled to the trip,” he said.

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