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Quality led students to win in open culinary category

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The University of the South Pacific (USP) Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia and Chief Executive Officer USP Pacific TAFE, Dr. Hasmukh Lal with students who won medals at the recent Moffat National Salon Culinaire 2019.

Three students from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) won medals at the Moffat National Salon Culinaire 2019 held at the Fiji National University (FNU) Nadi Campus from 22 to 25 October 2019.

Professor Pal Ahluwalia, USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President (VCP) awarded the students certificates of recognition, at an event organised at the USP Pacific Fusion restaurant Laucala.

Ashneel Kumar won gold Medal in Open Category Seafood Mains and a bronze Medal in Open Category Beef Mains. Adi Salote Vakaotia won silver Medal in Open Category Seafood Mains and silver Medal in Open Category Salad, while Natasha Kumar won a silver Medal in Open Category Pasta Mains.

All students who are currently completing Diploma of Culinary Arts and Management (Level 5) competed in the open category, which means they were up against full time industry professionals.

In congratulating the students, Professor Ahluwalia said he was elated to celebrate and recognise the tremendous success of our students who have won medals at this year’s Moffat Salon Culinaire.

“This is a remarkable achievement, especially when competing against industry professionals,” he said.

“The exposure and experience provided to our students through events such as these along with the training and support provided to them, by our trainers and facilitators here at Pacific TAFE, creates an excellent platform for the students to showcase their talents and skills nationally and internationally.”

Dr. Hasmukh Lal , Chief Executive Officer, USP Pacific TAFE said that Pacific TAFE has set precedent in the yearly competition having won gold medal at 2017 event and three medals in 2018 event and five medals at the 2019 event.

“I am pleased with the results and wish to congratulate our students and facilitators for their participation at the Moffat National Salon Culinaire 2019.” he said.

“The objective of the Salon is to promote and develop skills and recognise outstanding ability and individuals within the Fiji culinary sector. Winning two silver medals and a bronze in the Class 16 Open category, open to all industry personnel with extensive professional cooking experience, is a reflection to the quality of training and guidance we provide to our students here at Pacific TAFE. This is only our second year competing in this competition but it is pleasing to see that we are achieving results consistent with the brand of quality that USP is known for.”

Meanwhile the students were overjoyed to participate and win medals at the national event and being recognised by Pacific TAFE for their participation.

Speaking on behalf of the winners, Ashneel Kumar said, “We were just looking for exposure at the Moffat National Salon Culinaire event and to win medals is a bonus,” she said.

“I would like to acknowledge the support provided by our trainers and facilitators at Pacific TAFE – their guidance and assistance during our training proved very useful.”

Pasirio Kitione, Coordinator Tourism and Hospitality Programme thanked the students for their input during training, practice and preparation throughout the five weeks of training and four days of competition.

“All three students representing Pacific TAFE put in a lot of effort and time for practice, staying back after skills sessions and coming in on Saturdays,” he said.

This news item was published on 12 Nov 2019 02:42:52 pm. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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