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In a momentous event on Wednesday this week , Boswa Culinary Institute proudly welcomed back one of its most accomplished students, Kaone Kwati, who returned triumphantly from a fierce culinary competition in India dubbed ‘The Young Chef Olympiad.’
Representing both Botswana and his esteemed institution, the talented young chef showcased his skills on an international platform competing against some of the world’s most promising culinary talents.
Competing with passion and competence, Kwati achieved a remarkable feat, securing two prestigious awards: ‘Best Young Mentor’ and ‘Best Cart Kitchen Application.’
The Young Chef Olympiad, an annual culinary competition organised by the International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) and the International Hospitality Council (IHC), witnessed the participation of over 60 countries in its 10th edition held from January 29 to February 6, 2024. This year’s theme centered around sustainability and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The competition required participants to demonstrate their culinary expertise through various cooking tests, evaluated by a distinguished panel of chefs and hospitality experts. The gold trophy and a cash prize of $10,000 were awarded to Leyla Valiyeva from Azerbaijan, while the silver trophy was shared by Clifford Jeff Cadunggo Unabia from the Philippines and Kamal Thapa from Nepal. Francesco Orsi from Italy secured the bronze trophy.
In an interview, Kwati shared his journey stating, “It all began when four candidates from our school were selected for a smaller-scale competition in collaboration with Xigera Safaris. The rigorous selection process culminated in my victory, opening doors to a mentorship program with the head chef of Xigera and eventually earning me the opportunity to represent my country in the Young Chef Olympiad in India.”
Reflecting on his experience, Kwati expressed gratitude to Boswa Culinary Institute and Xigera, acknowledging them for grooming him into an individual worthy of competing on the global stage. He emphasised that the competition provided invaluable life lessons, expanding his understanding of the world’s palate and exposing him to diverse cultures. The Young Chef Olympiad 2024 stood as a testament to the spirit of unity, friendship, and continual learning among the aspiring chefs of the future.