The 13th International Youth Cooking Festival has been held at South Ural State University.
This festival is annually organized by the Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service, in particular by the Department of Production Technology and Catering Organisation, and is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Chelyabinsk Region. Pupils of 8th to 11th forms from schools and other educational institutions can take part in the event. This year, 250 participants from 45 organisations have been involved, and for many of them this festival is not just a chance to demonstrate their cooking talents, but also to contribute to the continuation of their education by enrolling at SUSU.
“We’ve been holding this festival for 13 years now, and it has become a traditional event, in which representatives of practically the whole Chelyabinsk Region take part: higher education institutions, vocational education institutions, lyceums, and schools. It’s some sort of a show, a contest, where participants can socialize and prove their mastery. A very important thing is that the victories in all categories bring additional points to the future students planning on enrolling with the Department of Production Technology and Catering Organisation in 2020,” noted Director of the Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service Vadim Ehrlich.
The contest was held in five main categories: Cooking and Class of Service, Confectionery, Art Design, Art Model, and International Cooking Traditions. Several hundreds of dishes were presented at several university venues at once. The jury was headed by the Head of the Department for Food, Processing Industry, and Agri-food Market Regulation of the Chelyabinsk Region Ministry of Agriculture Yulia Dida.
“This event is very important both for the city and for the Chelyabinsk Region; it is popular and unique in its way. SUSU trains specialists for the processing industry, hospitality industry, and public catering sector, and today the festival participants will be able to demonstrate their professional skills. I wish good luck to all the participants and to become winners in a fair play,” Yulia Dida welcomed the participants.
SUSU’s international students from China, Syria, Indonesia, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Egypt presented the dishes of their national cuisines, which included exotic Chinese Mantou wheat bread, spiced meat from traditional Syrian recipes, sweet Tajik halvaitar, and much more.
“We show the culture of different traditions and customs. People have put their heart and soul into everything you see on the tables here. This is truly a unique opportunity: without the need to travel far, you can taste the dishes from national cuisines from around the world right here in the university in Chelyabinsk, and learn more about at the very least eight different cultures and traditions. You can find out how national dishes are cooked, and what meaning different countries put into them. I wish you attend more new tasting sessions, make discoveries and acquaintances, and of course, new recipes,” wished the SUSU Vice-Rector for International Relations Olga Yaroshenko.
The confectioneries were designed in different styles, and some of those used images from fairy tales, like a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Many fancy exhibits and design solutions were presented within the Art Design and Art Model sections, which features food paintings and runway walk in “edible” garments. The festival guests were also surprised by exquisite table layouts.
“Our idea was to lay the table for a romantic dinner, so we decorated the table with candles and fresh flowers to create this special atmosphere. For the main course, we cooked Magret duck breast salad and served it in a cheese plate made of Dutch cheese. We finely grated some cheese, roasted it, filled a dish with it and put it into the fridge for 20 minutes so that the cheese could set. We garnished our salad with lace chips fried on a pan,” shared his table layout secrets a student of Chelyabinsk State Vocational School of the Food Industry and Commerce Timofei Balandin.
The jury did justice to the exhibits. The jury members included heads and leading specialists from organisations of public catering, food industry and retail networks “Ashan”, “Lenta”, “Dodo Pizza”, “Khleb sol” restaurant of Victoria Hotel, “Po chesnoky” restaurant, “Kalinka”, “Molniya”, “Uralskiye pelmeni”, “Uralskiy kombinat pitaniya”.
Aleksey Ozerov, Head of the Culinary section of “Ashan” company: “Such an experience is a new thing for us; and we’re happy that we’ve been invited to judge the works by the participants. It’s great that cuisine has united so many people and nationalities. All the dishes are very tasty and cooked with love, national charm and creativity. Personally I liked Syrian, Chinese and Uzbek cuisines. It was obvious that the participants cooked their dishes on their own and did that not for the first time. The most surprising dish for me was cooked by students from China: it was chicken marinated in Coca-Cola.”
The contest results in all five categories were announced in the SUSU Activity Hall, and the winners and prize-winners were awarded certificates and letters of recognition.
The 2020 graduates (11th-form school pupils and students of the senior years from vocational educational organisations) who participate in this contest and win prizes in the categories of Cooking and Class of Service, and Confectionery can be awarded additional points for personal achievements when enrolling in South Ural State University in 2020: 1st place – 5 points; 2nd place – 4 points; 3rd place – 3 points.