The fifth edition of the Gorilla Highlands Silverchef competition, a regional culinary competition is set to take place in Musanze on October 26, at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel, Musanze, bringing together 13 chefs from Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.
Tourism, conservation, media and development professionals from the three countries will come together for an invite-only event where they will sample chef’s food, and network as vital matters concerning the region, such as how to best promote the region for the sake of its social and economic development, will be discussed.
At the competition chefs will be grouped into two shifts with one batch battling it out in the morning, and the other in the afternoon, oblivious of what ingredients will be prepared for them.
The chefs will prepare a two-course meal of restaurant cuisine, for the panel of five judges that will include model and humanitarian Judith Heard from Uganda, Rwandan anchor and events host Sandrine Isheja, Andrea Miller, the owner Crema Cafe, Chef Claude Bigayimpuzi, Executive chef Mythos hotel from Congo, among others.
The crowning of the Gorilla Highlands Silverchef 2018 winners will take place on the evening of October 26, while the following day, competitors and guests will have a morning familiarisation trip.
About the culinary competition..
The Gorilla Highlands initiative is a project that aims to globally brand and promote the trans-boundary region shared by Rwanda, Uganda and DR Congo.
“Instead of a short stop-over to see mountain gorillas, we want to position it as a region that has a lot to offer and should be a destination by itself,” explained Isabelle Masozera, one of the organisers.
“Gorilla Highlands uses innovative solutions to tell the world a positive story about this part of Africa and bring about economic development specifically targeting the poor,” she added.
The Gorilla Highlands Silverchef competition was launched in 2011 to promote culinary excellence in the South West of Uganda.
Rwanda was brought on board three years ago when the geographical ‘reach’ of the Gorilla Highlands was expanded in a bid to promote the idea of having young chefs from resorts, safari lodges and hotels come together, start a network, test their skills and create a fellowship of young professionals.
It is the second time that DR Congo will be participating in the competition. This year, Rwanda the host country will have five representatives and seven Ugandan representatives and one from Congo.
The competition will not only be about feasting and showcasing the top cuisine of the Gorilla Highlands region, but rather an occasion to engage top stakeholders about community tourism.
To the chefs, the competition also gives them an opportunity to network, exposure, new knowledge and platforms to boost their careers.
Last year’s winner was Rwanda’s Ramadhan Sindayigaya, from Kigali Marriot Hotel, who was crowned with a silver hat and a certificate of excellence.
Some of the chefs from Uganda, Rwanda and Congo who participated in last year’s cooking competition. / Courtesy
Networking session during last year’s GH Silver chef competition. / Courtesy