Chef Students Cut Their Teeth in the Jabulani Kitchen

by jabulanisafari

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Six Months in the Jabulani Kitchen | Aspiring Chef Keasha Paulsen’s Industry Placement at Jabulani

At Jabulani we are lucky enough to be able to host chef students as part of their industry placements, giving them the opportunity for experiential learning.

The industry placements help aspiring chefs to get a better understanding of how the industry works. It requires them to complete a couple of on-the-job modules where they gain experience in the hot kitchen and cold kitchen, and with banqueting and ordering and receiving of stock.

This year, Keasha Paulsen joined us from CTIA (Chefs Training and Innovation Academy).

Jabulani General Manager, Stefan du Toit, writes:

Keasha cut her Jabulani kitchen teeth in the pastry section but quickly showed us that the hot kitchen was where she wanted to be. She was exceptional in every part of the kitchen and anybody that has been to Jabulani in the last six months will have had the pleasure of one of her perfectly prepared beef fillets or venison cuts.

 The Jabulani chefs will certainly miss all the little things Keasha did for them in the kitchen, most of the time without them even asking for it. Keasha, we wish you all the best for your very bright future.

Keasha’s notes on her journey at Jabulani

I started at Jabulani on the beginning of 2022 to start my industry placement. Jabulani was my first place of employment and also where I started my culinary training. When I started, I did not have any experience nor did I know what to expect. On my first day, I observed how the chefs did everything and realised how fast they work, which made me nervous to start in the hot kitchen. The executive chef made the decision to place me in the pastry section for my first cycle to get familiar with everything – how they do things and where things are placed. I did well in pastry, but towards the end of my first cycle I was eager to start in the hot kitchen.

When my second cycle started, I was immediately placed in the hot section of the kitchen. It was an adjustment working so fast as pastry was a little slower paced, but the chefs were patient with me and ensured that I knew how to do things. I was eager to learn and I learnt a lot, such as learning how to cook duck, venison – springbok loin, impala loin and kudu. I also learnt to make a few new dishes that I had never heard of (Puttanesca, Caprese salad).

Slowly towards the end of my second cycle (three weeks in), I started cooking meat (medium, medium rare, medium well). I still need more practice, as practice makes perfect, but I am patient and eager to learn more.

I also had the opportunity to do elephant experience, and see the elephants up close. On a few occasions, I went out for the evening with other staff members and it was great to get to know them outside of the workplace.

Although I worked many long hours, I learnt something new everyday and am so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to complete part of my industry placement at Jabulani.

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