Sha Tin College was the proud host of the 2015 ESF MasterChef finals, on June 9, during which four secondary schools went head-to-head for the title of the next ESF MasterChef.
South Island School, Island School, King George V School and Sha Tin College each sent a single contestant for the senior division and a pair for the junior section.
Within an hour and a half on the clock, each contestant worked their socks off to produce top-notch dishes to fit the brief of a vegan main course and dessert with fruits and vegetables. The dessert section was new to this year's competition, heightening the challenge for contestants.
Sha Tin College's Shimali de Silva won the senior division with a delicious dried fig and lemon tagine for main and two desserts; a beetroot tart and a pistachio pastry.
Shimali says she discovered her passion for cooking while watching MasterChef when she was younger. "It inspires you to get a little bit more creative with your cooking," she explained.
Even though her cooking was exceptionally creative, she admitted that beetroot was a weird food to like.
Junior winners Martha Chow and Laura Chan, also from Sha Tin College, made a fettuccine courgette twist with pumpkin sauce and a floating market dessert inspired from the floating markets in Thailand. The friends loved working together and said creating the perfect dish was the biggest challenge they had faced so far.
Freelance chef Tony Magnetic was overjoyed with the way professional chefs had inspired the budding cooks. He was pleased to meet students with a strong passion for cooking who want to work in the catering industry. He told Young Post that when he judges dishes he focuses on innovation, which he feels is the most important factor.
Bread Elements chef Gregoire Michaud, who is also an ESF MasterChef judge, said the competition was a good way for students to learn how to cook healthy food.
Michaud divulged that when he is judging a dish, the first thing he looks for are taste and presentation. Every contestant put their unique spin on the brief and created some amazing and exotic dishes.
Second in the senior division was King George V, followed by Island School. KGV took silver in the junior category, too, and was followed by South Island School.