Cooking with Kyle
Kyle Farrer made Namibia proud by finishing in the top 20 out of 55 competitors from different countries in the Young Chef Olympiad competition.
12 February 2019 | People
Kyle Farrer, a 22-year-old culinary arts student at the Silver Spoon Hospitality Academy in Windhoek, represented Namibia at the Young Chef Olympiad (YCO), which took place in three cities in India - New Delhi, Pune and Kolkata.
He ended in the top 20 out of competitors from 55 countries.
“The YCO is a competition for young chefs across the world and it involves four rounds which is the plate trophy and grand finale. The plate trophy consists of rounds one and two and then the grand finale, which is round three,” he tells The Zone.
“These rounds all consist of different ingredients and challenges. The first one lets you work with a recipe, and in the second one, contestants are allowed to use their own recipe. All the rounds are judged differently, but with the same base skill, taste and presentation.”
He said the YCO is not only a competition, but also the ideal platform to network and make friends.
“I am absolutely proud of having brought us into the top 20 countries; there was stiff competition, but I had a goal to prove and I made us proud.”
Born in Windhoek, Farrer's biggest highlight at the YCO was the people he met during the competition and the knowledge he gained.
“It's not every day you are privileged enough to pursue your dream career and that's what I have received. I worked hard and I made my dream come true.”
He added his biggest challenge was working with ingredients he had never worked with before. “However, I stood tall and adapted to my conditions as much as I could and I did very well.”
Farrer thanked his grandfather John Farrer and Silver Spoon Academy for his success during the competition.
“They made me believe in myself and taught me that I should follow what makes me happy, and that is food; working with it, tasting and experimenting and so on.”
Growing up, Farrer says he has always been interested in cooking, but was unsure whether to pursue it as a career or not.
“My grandfather was never a professional chef, however, he was such a great chef. I come from a very family-oriented background so we would always help in the kitchen and help my grandfather cook, so that really contributed to my love for food. And with all the jobs I have had, I always found myself in the kitchen or something to do with food, and that was the base I set for my career.”
Farrer looks up to Chef Terry Jenkinson and Chef Michelle Fourie of Silvers Spoon as “they brought me this far and still help me improve every day”.
“They took me in and made me grow in the culinary industry; I do not know how else to put it. They taught me the basics of cooking and more, and I respect them with everything I do. I look up to them every day, as I too aspire to be a chef that great one day,” he said.
According to Farrer, Namibia still has a lot to learn when it comes to the culinary arts.
“However in recent years we have brought our A-game and the results are showing step by step, and every day we are getting more and more creative. We are starting to get rewards and we are being recognised more each day.”
Farrer is still unsure about his future plans.
“To be very honest, all is still unclear as to what I want to do fully yet, but for the next few years, I am going to stay humble and learn a lot more as I am still very young and I need to learn as much as I can before I can fully grasp what I want to do, but I am planning on travelling abroad to work overseas to gain more experience.”