Six student chefs selected to cater at World Cup

INTERNATIONAL CUISINE: Blue Ribbon Culinary Studio students, from left, Nasiphi Mafeje, Tayla-Jade Marais, Odwa Memza, Rierie Konyana, and Aphiwe Lamani are leaving for Qatar this week. Minentle Blair was unavailable for the photo Picture: FAITH MTWANA

Six student chefs from Blue Ribbon Culinary Studio are headed off to Qatar to help cater for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

They were chosen from about 400 other students and will be joined by their former lecturer, chef Fazel Bezuidenhout, who was also selected.

The students – Minentle Blair, Odwa Memza, Tayla- Jade Marais, Rierie Konyana, Aphiwe Lamani, and Nasiphi Mafeje – are thrilled to have been selected and to be traveling to another country, which will be a first for most of them.


Mafeje, 32, will be joining front-of-house staff and assisting with daily operations.

“I am very excited about this opportunity.

“The Blue Ribbon environment has helped me grow so I feel like I am ready to go out there.

“I have some experience traveling overseas so I am just excited to explore the world and learn new things,” said Mafeje.


Marais, 20, is eager to learn new skills that will assist her in her cake business, Tayla Made Cakes.

“I am so happy and excited. I know this is going to open doors for me in my career.

“I am a baker and I want to learn new tricks and techniques to make it in this business,” said Marais.


Konyana, 32, is looking forward to showing off her skills as she is considered one of the school’s best bakers.

“When I first started at Blue Ribbon, I didn’t know anything about baking,” said Konyana.

“Now they say I am one of the best.

“I love cooking and I am always happy to learn new skills.

“I believe that this experience will open doors for me,” said Konyana.


Lamani, 21, is excited about the managerial role she will be stepping into, despite not having much experience.

“I will be a supervisor and overseeing different projects,” Lamani said.

“I don’t have much experience but here at Blue Ribbon we handle many different catering events and functions and I know what it is like to work in the industry.

“I also have a business that I want to start and I will use the experience that I gain during this experience to officially start it when I come back.”


Memza, 26, the only male in the group, said he was grateful for the guidance they had received from all of Blue Ribbon’s teachers.

“This is such a remarkable achievement that would not be possible without our teachers,” said Memza.

“Our campus is quite small so it means that we have been lucky enough to have teachers who can give us individual attention and get to know us and our strengths and abilities.”

All expenses for the trip will be taken care of including food, transport, uniforms, and accommodation.

Each student will also receive a stipend for the work that they do.

The students will be leaving for Qatar at different times throughout the week.


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