Good France 2016 competition winner visits Nice
For the 2016 Good France event, hosted at the French Residence by Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier on 22 March, three cooking schools from Gauteng were invited to participate in a dessert competition.
Each school put forward one student to prepare one of three desserts (éclair, opéra and macaroon) to be tasted by the 80 guests at the dinner. Each guest could vote for their favourite dessert and at the end of the evening Michelle Oberholster, 22, from Prue Leith Chefs Academy was announced the winner for her delectable lemon macaroon.
The reception was attended by guest of honour chef Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen who is based in Nice, France. He is the first South African to win a Michelin Star for his restaurant JAN. He offered Michelle the opportunity to work as an intern in his restaurant for two weeks in August.
In addition, Michelle and her school won a three-day culinary session with Chef André Ahiba who has been running the Residence of France’s kitchen since 2008 and trained at the prestigious Quai d’Orsay.
I was filled with different emotions when I found out I was going to Nice to work at Jan-Hendrik van der Westhuizen’s Michelin-star restaurant, JAN : excited at the amazing opportunity but also nervous for the adventure ahead of me. My first day in Nice I met the head chef to see the restaurant and also got a tour of the beautiful city.
This experience further clarified the value of hard work and made it clearer for me that this is the field that I am passionate about. It was great to see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of a Michelin-star restaurant and to be involved in the process for two weeks.
It goes without saying that the chefs at JAN work incredibly hard and this is evident in the beautiful dishes that come out of the kitchen each day. I felt as though my training at Prue Leith Chefs Academy had prepared me and equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to uphold the high standard at JAN.
I am grateful for the opportunity that was awarded to me and will value the experience as well as the knowledge I learned during my time at JAN.
- Read about Good France 2016 here.