For our 3rd day, we had two competitions and the first was at 7am. Cheenee De Jesus was competing in the Western Hot Cooking – Under 25 – Apprentists; Canadian Short Ribs. Cheenee was coached by Chef Mike, who incidentally will also be competing that day but at 7pm.
Among all the competitors, Cheenee was the one who struggled most when it came to plating his dish. He practiced 12 times before going to Hong Kong and he always fell short when it came to the end. He told me that he has been nervous about this competition ever since he landed.
Cheenee was admittedly nervous, there were times when he would get a bit flustered as he was competing and I have seen Chef Mike leave and pace back and forth for a few minutes. I would ask him if he was nervous about Cheenee and he would tell me that he has taught him everything that he could and now it was up to him.
Then came the dreaded time for us all. Cheenee started preparing to plate his dish. We were all holding our breaths and when we saw his final product, we were all overjoyed! Chef Mike was so proud he even jokingly told Cheenee that his 13th time’s a charm. We were truly amazed by what he was able to do since his plating was flawless! Cheenee told me afterwards that he couldn’t believe his work and he said that he thinks his mom would be proud of him right now. I totally agree with him and we were all so proud of him.
His results came in a couple of hours after. It was a GOLD medal! We were on a roll, everyone just kept on winning and bagging awards. It was an amazing high. Here are some photos of that day: