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Wood, smoke, fire…cook!

2023-08-23  Max Heinrich

Wood, smoke, fire…cook!

ONGWEDIVA – From a self-taught chef who has been experimenting with different ingredients for many years to becoming champion of Unam’s first-ever student cooking competition, nursing student Isabel Ndimbarukua has big plans. 

The student cooking competition was held at Unam Oshakati campus on Friday under the theme ‘Embracing our roots, Enriching our future’.

It took place under the auspices of the annual Unam cultural festival and saw 10 students representing all three northern Unam campuses – Oshakati, Hifikepunye Pohamba, and Jose Eduardo Dos Santos – competing.

Competitors were to cook three different dishes for the judges, with the main dish being “marathon” chicken. The other two dishes were of the competitors’ choice.

An excited Ndimbarukua explained to Youth Corner she joined the completion on the last day as a solo participant to avoid someone messing up her cuisine.

“I love cooking and I decided to enter the competition alone. I did not want anyone to mess up my dish because if something went wrong, I wanted to blame myself and not someone else,” she said.

During the competition, Ndimbarukua was calm, relaxed and collected and finished her three dishes well on time.

She won the first prize of N$1 000, while the runner-up won N$800 and the third-best chef N$600.

Ndimbarukua plans on using her prize to purchase a few baking utensils and pizza ingredients.

“I feel good about winning and plan using the money to buy cake pans. I like baking; in fact – anything that has to do with the kitchen. I cook and sell pizzas also,” she said with a laugh.

Event organiser Jockyna Ames said the reason for having three dishes for judging was to reflect unity.

“The menu was made up of different traditional dishes from different traditional backgrounds to go with this year’s cultural festival theme – to embrace cultural cuisines,” she said.

Ames highlighted that the competition was a way to promote a healthy competitive environment among the students from the three campuses and for them to show off their cooking skills.

“Most importantly the students had fun,” she stated. 

2023-08-23  Max Heinrich

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