EHTL takes part in The Green Battle competition for the first time, topping the podium in the Netherlands.
Ariana Pedro Gomes and Ninon Munier are enrolled in the final year of the DAP Restaurateur course at EHTL. When, at the start of the new school year in September 2023, the school offered them the opportunity to take part, just a few weeks later, in a competition featuring plant-based cuisine, they accepted the challenge with enthusiasm.
Both have already experienced competitions in the past, and have tasted the adrenalin of these tests where the aim is to measure up to other candidates, but above all to surpass oneself to give the best of oneself.
They see their professional future in the world of gastronomy: one wants to travel the globe and discover the cuisines of the world; the other aims to open her own establishment.
In the space of four days, the two competitors had already put together a menu consisting of a starter and a main course. “In particular, they took ideas from the recipes presented in the book Mmmmh, a vegetarian cookbook published by the EHTL in 2022 to coincide with the Expogast gastronomic fair,” explains chef Jennifer Salbrecht, who supervised and accompanied the students to Maastricht. “What’s more, Ninon was able to take advantage of her ten-week internship at Ryôdô, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving refined Japanese cuisine. That’s where they got the idea of making a vegetarian gyoza (ravioli),” adds Ms. Salbrecht, before concluding, “We’ve kept all their ideas, because I feel it’s their competition. The aim is not for them to execute a menu dreamt up by someone else, in this case a cookery teacher, but for them to come up with something that suits them.”
A 2011 graduate of the EHTL and experienced in competitions, Chef Salbrecht’s first priority was to ensure that the candidates kept their composure in the face of unforeseen circumstances during the competition, which was open to the public, and that the timing was respected.
The strategy paid off, as the jury, made up exclusively of Michelin-starred chefs, praised the autonomy of the Ariana-Ninon duo, who won The Green Battle competition against three other competing schools. Although there was still room for improvement in their menu proposals, their attitude and commitment impressed the judges and tipped the scales in their favor. Frank Fol, “the vegetable chef” and founder of the prestigious gastronomic guide We’re Smart, presented them with a pin representing a radish, a distinction generally reserved for top chefs recognized for their promotion of plant products and excellence in their use.
This victory only strengthens the determination of the two future EHTL graduates to fulfill their personal dreams and build solid career prospects. There’s no doubt that their training and temperament will provide them with excellent professional prospects.