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Pacific TAFE student wins gold medal at Moffat National Salon Culinaire 2017

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Steven Taukafa (right) with his Gold Medal and Programme Coordinator, Mr Pasirio Kitione.

A student from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) won a gold medal on 16 November, 2017 at the Moffat National Salon Culinaire 2017.

19-year-old, Steven Taukafa, who is taking Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, was all smiles after winning gold and first prize in the Class 7 (Junior) Category – Brunch Breakfast Live event held at the Fiji National University’s Namaka Campus in Nadi.

Steven said it was a great feeling to win and compete with representatives from major resort kitchens in Fiji. He acknowledged the support of the Pacific TAFE Culinary Programme trainers, Chef Mo and his Team of the Grand Pacific Hotel kitchen, his 2017 classmates who are currently on training attachment in resort/hotel kitchens in Fiji and his parents and family.

“Without their unwavering support, I would not have been able to achieve this,” Steven said.      

He thanked Pacific TAFE for the support in terms of the practice sessions, resources, transportation and accommodation in Nadi during the event.

Mr Hasmukh Lal, Executive Director of Pacific TAFE congratulated Steven and conveyed his appreciation to the Coordinator and teaching staff of Commercial Cookery programme, and added that they placed enormous efforts in preparing Steven and other students who participated.

“This is the third year of internationally accredited Commercial Cookery programme delivery, and for our students to make a national hallmark before entering the workforce is a significant achievement. Congratulations to Steven for his achievement and glory to USP’s Pacific TAFE,” Mr Lal said.

He further commented that Pacific TAFE envisions participating in the international platform next year to showcase talents, in particular, Pacific Cuisine.

Pacific TAFE opened the Nadi Hospitality & Tourism Training Centre this year based on demand and hopes to produce more graduates of Steven’s calibre for the industry.

His winning brunch breakfast dish had egg, bacon, and yam – three (3) items that are required for the dish, of which he added a smoked relish, onion and cheese crisp and sausage.

The dish was a fusion of classic cookery principles and Pacific seasonal produce and flavours.

The yam, Steven noted, was quite different from the mainstream carbs used in breakfast menus as it was mixed with pure fresh coconut cream and baked giving his dish a very unique Pacific identity.

Steven also used virgin coconut oil and Fiji honey which are special and healthy everyday ingredients and were also stand out flavours for his dish titled - Pasivika Brunch.

Steven’s message to current students is ‘not to give up’ and shared his experiences from his attachment during Semester 2, 2017.

“Do not give up, believe in yourself and keep on keeping on,” Steven relayed.

Four (4) other students from Pacific TAFE won Bronze Medals and they were Dillon Fihaki, Lawrence Senha, Shivneel Dhalbar and Margaret Musuka.

This news item was published on 23 Nov 2017 09:13:43 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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