The 2012 Moffat Salon Culinaire ‘Fiji Chef of the Year’ Award has been won by Chef PriyaDarshani, Sous Chef at the five star Outrigger on the Lagoon∙ Fiji’s Ivi Restaurant.
Twenty seven year old Chef Priya joined Outrigger on the Lagoon seven years ago as an apprentice chef, having completed a commercial cookery certificate at the Fiji National University.
She said she followed four principles in her professional life – make personal sacrifices to achieve your goals, give your best shot every time you are given a task, always apply 100 per cent dedication and have a `can do’ attitude towards superiors and guests.
Chef Priya said she had been fortunate to have as her mentor Outrigger’s executive chef Shailesh Naidu.
“He’s a role model for me. He believes that happy and successful cooking doesn’t rely on ‘know-how’ but comes from the heart and needs enthusiasm and a deep love of food to bring it to life,’’ she said.
Chef Priya said her favourite foods remained her mother’s traditional Indian curries. “They are to die for and I’m still struggling to get mine close. I can never cook for her,’’ she said.
Chef Priya said her advice to young women entering the culinary industry was to realise that nothing can be achieved without a struggle.
“For myself, I have set a goal of becoming Executive Sous Chef in the next five years. ‘’
“Always give your best, be tough and success will follow,’’ she said.
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