S. Africa: Young chefs get taste of fresh produce market

Gauteng’s young chefs got a behind-the-scenes look at an important part of the fresh produce value chain recently when market agents, RSA Group, invited them on a tour of the Joburg Market.

This was the first time some of these trainee chefs had ever put foot on a market floor, and they were fascinated to learn about fresh produce pricing, the source of local produce, storage, the ripening process and the ins and outs of seasonal produce.

FBI Chefs School & Patisserie Academy students with their lecturer Chef Nicolaas van der Walt and RSA trader Andre Pretorius.

“The student chefs that accompanied us were very interested to learn more about these back-end processes that they previously knew so little about. We wanted to not only familiarise students with their local fresh produce market, but build relationships with them now so that once they have qualified, they will feel comfortable visiting the market to personally choose the produce they will later cook with. That is a very empowering activity for chefs, who relish working with food where the source and quality of the produce is known,” says Jaco Oosthuizen, RSA Group managing director.

The market visits were well attended, with 55 students from Capsicum Boksburg, 12 students from the FBI Chef School & Patisserie Academy and nine students from The Swiss Hotel School being hosted over several days.

Based on the success of these visits and following demand from other culinary schools for similar outings, RSA Group will invite more students to experience the Joburg Market in 2016, with a view to expanding the initiative to include the Tshwane and Cape Town fresh produce markets for the culinary schools in those areas. Similar visits could also form part of culinary schools’ annual curriculums in future.

For more information:
Lauren Anceriz
RSA Group
Tel: +27 11 882 9272
Email: lauren@protactic.co.za

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