It was a full circle moment as the four talented Colour Your Plate with KOO bursary recipients were awarded their certificates at the prestigious and internationally acclaimed Jacqui Cameron School of Food and Wine.
Johannesburg born Khothatso Mathibe, Lihle Mahambehlala, hailing from Bloemfontein, Kamohelo Ayanda Mokhele, and Durban’s Lungelo Sphesihle Mbele were awarded year-long bursaries to not only sharpen their culinary skills courtesy of KOO at the Jacqui Cameron School of Food and Wine, but also provided a golden opportunity to be mentored by the internationally renowned Chef, Reuben Riffle.
Jacqui Cameron, in awe of her students said, “They were an absolute delight to work with and always put their best foot forward. It came without question that they would excel from the beginning because their winning recipes are what got them the opportunity. I cannot wait to see what they will do in the various kitchens they will work in, if they don’t go ahead to open their own Michelin star restaurants because they are so talented and eager to showcase their skills.”
KOO launched the fully funded 18 month R500k all-expenses paid bursary program during its inaugural season of Colour Your Plate with KOO in 2021, with a vision to unearth young culinary talent and empower them to excel in South Africa’s vibrant culinary scene. Through this bursary, the students not only expanded their horizons by exploring diverse cuisines but also gained invaluable knowledge from the very best in the industry.
Season 1&2 ‘s success showcased South Africa’s culinary landscape and take on the vast and diverse cuisines that celebrate the vibrant and colourful rainbow nation with plates just as vibrant with KOO’s nutritious canned goods. KOO’S brand heritage spans over 80 years with a catalogue as diverse as our Rainbow Nation and remains open to interpretation as boldly and flavorful by every culture, and ethnicity this beautiful country holds.
KOO has successfully embraced a more youth-centric approach in its endeavours having partnered with Bacardi Holiday Club and youth brand Thesis, they have solidified their presence in the youth space, experiencing remarkable growth in sales among the 18-35 age group. The bursary programme is aimed at unleashing young talent to continue KOO’s unbridled legacy in the culinary space.
Edna Mohale-Maphita, Tiger Brands Marketing Director, emphasized the significance of tapping into young talent and uplifting them to realize their dreams, as they hold the key to South Africa’s future.
“At KOO, we believe in the development and investing in the future leaders and change agents of tomorrow. The youth of Mzansi hold a crucial position in shaping the country’s trajectory, therefore, it is essential for us to engage with young talent and providing them with visibility and support to pursue their dreams,” said Edna.
In addition, Edna shared; “Through Colour Your Plate with KOO platform it is important that we break new culinary boundaries and show South African’s the versatility of KOO’s canned goods while also highlighting the brands nutritious values and time it takes to source the yummy goodness that goes into South Africa’s most loved canned goods.”
To stand a chance to be one of Colour Your Plate with KOO bursary recipients, keep purchasing KOO products and keep your eyes peeled to your Television screens for the 3rd season of Colour Your Plate With KOO that will have all details for this year’s recipients and follow KOO on all social media platforms to stay up to date.