The Thalias team scooped a bunch of awards in December, including a young chef on the rise and a creativity award for Topaz in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s inaugural Young Chef Competition.
Six of the hottest young chefs in the country were pit against each other in the competition, which calls for contestants to create a unique dish using a series of prescribed ingredients: chuck steak, chickpeas, pinto beans, potatoes and raisins – five very American products.
Three Thalias chefs were among the six final contestants, with Kon Vanna, a 22-year-old commis II from our Khéma La Poste restaurant, securing the bronze medal and also winning an additional award for the most creative use of pinto beans.
“We have young, intuitive chefs and we are always looking for them to improve their range, to experiment, and to expand on their knowledge and techniques,” said Ms Sambo Nov, general manager of Khéma La Poste.
“Some of the ingredients used in the young chef competition were somewhat foreign to Cambodian chefs and also Cambodian taste buds – but you can imagine that those ingredients will be popping up in one of our menus in the future.”
Indeed, the event is aimed at promoting American produce among Cambodia’s up-and-coming kitchen creators – a goal that looks to have been achieved.
Additionally, the Topaz team won the most creative dish for their appetizer, Black Bread Crumbles on Scallops Tartare and Green Peas.
“Competitions like this help our young professionals to expand their range,” Mr Arnaud Darc, CEO and Chairman of Thalias Hospitality. “We invest in our staff. If they show promise in a certain area, we might send them to France, for example, to work in a Michelin Star restaurant.”