Fiji National University (FNU) student Brian Patrick Geros was a proud recipient of the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea Rising Star Award during the 9th International Young Chefs Olympiad in India from January 9 to February 4.
Geros competed in the pool stages of the competition and advanced to become one of the top 20 competitors. He then competed for the Plate Trophy and was awarded the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea Rising Star Award at the closing ceremony held in Kolkata.
Geros is the first student to win this award. FNU has also participated in the competition in 2019 and 2020.
The 24-year-old completed a Certificate in Cookery (Level 3) programme from FNU’s College of Business, Tourism and Hospitality Studies (CBHTS) in 2019.
“It has been a wonderful and memorable learning experience to learn my trade from some of the most dedicated and caring lecturers at the Nasese campus,” he said.
“I used to watch Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen and was inspired by Gordon Ramsay and his dishes, but my biggest inspiration came from my mother, who would make delicious home-cooked meals.”
“She would also explain the process step-by-step whilst preparing the meals. She would share about the purpose of each ingredient and how they contributed to the lovely aromas, flavors, and tastes of home-cooked food.”
“My message for others who would like to study one of the FNU Cookery or Baking and Patisserie programme is to be prepared to learn and work hard, ask questions, get out of your comfort zone, communicate clearly, be responsible, promote good personal hygiene and work ethics, and master the skills of the culinary profession.”
Geros said his educational experience at FNU has provided a foundation that has contributed to a successful learning and employment journey.
“The training, skills, and knowledge I gained have prepared me well when working in some of Fiji’s resorts and high-end restaurants. The lecturers and food and beverage trainers at the Nasese Campus are very competent in their skills and knowledge.”
“I am grateful for the chef trainers on the Nasese campus who have shaped my culinary career.”
Geros worked for Vomo Island Resort as a Commis Chef (pastry and cold larder) before joining Shashi Dhaba Restaurant, where he was the Commis Commis in the hot section.
His most recent employment was at The Grill House, where he worked as the Demi-Chef in the Griller/ Fryer Section.
Geros is currently pursuing a Diploma in Culinary Arts (Level 5) at FNU.
CBHTS Food and Beverage Assistant Instructor, Jone Koroi Ledua added that the Olympiad event was a platform where young and talented culinary students from different countries competed and showcased their culinary arts skills.
“Geros had previously won a bronze medal at the Fiji Chefs Association Salon Culinaire event held at the Sheraton Hotel last year, where he competed against many seasoned chefs in the “live category” for a main course and dessert,” he said.
“The University – and College – are proud of his achievements and look forward to nurturing his passion and talent further.”