Cllr Ms Iona Kritzinger George Municipality, Deputy Minister of Tourism Elizabeth Thabethe,
Ms Deborah Kemp, National Certificate Top Achiever, Mr Thomas Overbeck,
General Manager of the South African Chefs Association and
Ms Denise Lindley Vice Principal of the Francois Ferreira Academy
A proud moment as Deborah Kemp, a student from the Francois Ferreira Academy, received the National Certificate Top Achiever Award from the
National Youth Chefs Training Programme.
In her speech she described her journey:
“To be a cook you have to have a love of the food, a love of hard work, and a love of creating………..These beautiful words were said by Julia Child.
For the past year of cooking with the NYCTP class I have come to realise a few things, people can taste the attitude in which food has been prepared,
Food is nostalgic and witty ‘that spaghetti bolognaise totally reminds me of what my mom use to make or, Oh and it reminds me of that one time………….’
It can taste like relaxation ‘That Crème Brulee just hit the spot’ after a long day and at the end of a good meal.
It can taste like love and comfort ‘the last time you had a family dinner, saw your siblings or even just in the company of friends’or………… ‘Popcorn and a movie with that special person’.
Or on our down moments it tastes like frustration or defeat “I didn’t do good enough today, was a bad day in this kitchen”,
‘Why did I under season and overcook that steak, I’ve made it 100 times before!!’
‘How did the temperature get so high so fast on the crème analgise, I turned my back for a second!!!!’
….. Lucky for all of us, we have the François Ferreira Academy to guide us through the pitfalls, emotions and victories of becoming young chefs.
The mistakes we make do not define us, they mould us like the pastries we so passionately make and we see the recipe through to the end, after all, we can only judge the end product on completion.
You know, everyone talks about Universal languages, basically it is language spoken and understood by all or most of the world, be it music for some, maybe art for others…… Food is what we chose.
The language of food excludes race, ethnicity, sexuality age and class. Food is what calls people into community, it brings us together.
Food is so powerful we create traditions, celebrate events, we socialise around food and food is a source of comfort, be it by the hands who is preparing it, or the mouths that it feeds.
This journey of ours has just begun, and with the support of all teachers, lecturers and staff from FFA and thanking NYCTP, SACA and the Department of Tourism for making our dreams a reality, on behalf of our first year class, we say thank you, and hope you are as proud of us as we are of ourselves.
I believe A Chef must think like a Scientist, Organise like an accountant, Plate like an Artist and cook like a Grandma – Chefs can do that, who else can?”
And we at the Francois Ferreira Academy could not have said it better!