By Peter Stevenson
YOUNG chefs are being challenged to come up with innovative recipes based on traditional Cyprus foods in a competition being organised by the Cyprus Food Museum and Intercollege Nicosia’s catering department.
Named ‘Cooking Cypriot’, the competition aims at introducing children aged 10 to 18 to forgotten, traditional flavours and tastes, to get in touch with elderly people and to discover and relive tradition through their research.
“The main aim is for children to familiarise themselves with the ingredients, the tastes, the smells of the traditional Mediterranean diet and Cypriot cuisine and to appreciate the value of healthy home-cooked food,” head of the food museum Stalo Lazarou said.
The competition will split children into various age groups; 10-12 year-olds, 13-15-year-olds and 16-18-year-olds, the last will be split into groups from high-schools and those from technical schools.
To participate, children must complete the relevant form and attach two recipes, one a main course and the other a desert. The two recipes will need to be completed within two hours and application forms for students from technical schools will need to include original recipes of the students’ own creation with five ingredients (for both recipes) from the list of ingredients on the application form. The final day for applications is March 30 and anyone interested can send in as many applications as they like.
A special committee of experts, cookery teachers and professional chefs will choose the 12 best applications from each category and the participants will be invited to cook their recipes at the Intercollege Nicosia cookery lab.
“Students from Intercollege’s catering department will help all the students other than those from technical schools prepare their recipes in matters that have to do with child safety such as lighting hobs, placing items on the hob, placing items in the oven and carrying plates,” Lazarou said.
More detailed rules and regulations will be revealed later once the final candidates have been chosen to take part in the competition.
“During the event, parents and the children’s friends will be able to watch proceedings next door in the University canteen and in the Cine Studio where there will be a big screen relay of the competition,” Lazarou said.
During the two days of cooking there will also be an exhibition with traditional food and drink.
Participants will all be given a certificate and all eligible applications will be included in a special cookery book which will be uploaded onto the CyprusFoodMuseum website (http://foodmuseum.cs.ucy.ac.cy/) and the Intercollege website (www.intercollege.ac.cy).
The twelve children from each category that take part in the competition will receive gifts from a cookery store.
The winning children from the 10-12 and 13-15 categories will receive full scholarships at Pascal School, worth €40,000. The winners from both 16-18 categories will receive 50 per cent scholarships for both years at Intercollege’s catering department worth €19,000.
“We received a large number of applications last year and the response we got from children and parents was very positive and this encouraged us to organise it again this year,” she said.
Lazarou said she was grateful for the large prizes the organisers had given and that it showed how popular the event was last year that the same prizes were being offered.
Applications can be found on the food museum’s website.