Team Namibia selects finalists

Windhoek – The atmosphere was extremely inviting as I walked into the kitchen of the Polytechnic’s Hotel School.  I knew then that it was the ideal place to be on Friday, March 8.

Team Namibia’s ‘Plate of Namibia’ hosted by First National Bank (FNB) Namibia, MTC and Pick n Pay received a staggering response from the Namibian public, with 65 valid entries received from across the country.
Team Namibia initiated this national cooking competition to raise awareness on genuine Namibian products that are readily available and can be consumed daily, as well as to celebrate Namibia’s 23rd birthday with local food and drinks.
Contestants were given a list of 23 Team Namibia ingredients. They had to initiate their own Namibian recipes to highlight the wide range of Namibian products available to use in cooking, consequently eliminating the need for imported goods when preparing a quality meal.  
The dishes are thus going to be judged on their “Namibianess” – how Namibian the dish is.
“I want an international person to take away the diversity of our products,” Klaus-Theodor Lubowski uttered.
The Namibian Chefs Association (NCA) selected the following recipes for the semi-finals: William Smith ‑ Beer battered kudu fillet stuffed with mushroom and spinach; Timotheus Josef ‑ Chicken liver served with spinach fritters; Caty Shemuvalula ‑ EtamaYoChick on flatbread; Esmari Jacibs ‑ Classy steak; Klaus-Theodor Lubowski ‑ Giraffe fillet stuffed with a spinach and chicken liver roulade, Cornelia Haak ‑ Fishcakes with a Nam twist served with eggplant and tomato stack; Kieran Duane Hayward ‑ Mushroom and spinach stuffed giraffe roulade; Lorraine Gaweses ‑ Tasty chicken with homemade spinach pasta, Mirjam Ndjalo ‑ Chicken and cabbage stuffed ravioli pasta with creamy mushroom sauce; Liezl Hoving – Giraffe fillet served with a tomato and Weizen ‑ Beer mayonnaise.
Lizette Foot, General Manager of Team Namibia, said, “I was deeply encouraged by the overwhelming interest in the ‘Plate of Namibia’ competition this year, in particular all the enquiries we received about Namibian products. What we thought might be a challenging list of ingredients at first, turned out to be an exceptional showcase of proudly Namibian cuisine!”
However, the contestants found using strictly Namibian products quite challenging.  Liezl Hoving said, “It was a bit challenging to stick to the ingredients, but it was very exciting in the end.”
The greatest cooks who made it through to the finals are: Miriam Ndjalo, William Smith, Caty Shemuvalula, Klaus-Theodor Lubowski and Liezl Hoving.  
The finalists will compete in a live cook-off competition on Saturday, March 23 at Pick n Pay Auas Valley from 09h00-12h00.
The public is welcome to attend the cook-off finale, watch the contestants prepare their dishes live, enter the fantastic competitions and enjoy the scrumptious food exhibitions by Team Namibia members.

March 2013
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