Aronee Nuzhat Ameen receiving the award from The Michelin Mentor Chef Cho Heesook
A 24-year old girl, named Aronee Nuzhat Ameen from
Bangladesh, living in South Korea bags the Student Chef of the Year 2021 award.
This event was hosted by a South Korean based association named Jeju Food and
Wine Festival (JFWF).
Student Chef of the Year is a non-profit cultural event which is aimed at promoting the excellence of Jeju’s farming, fisheries and livestock industries, contributing to the promotion of Jeju Island’s tourism and food industry, and fostering global talent, including culinary students and people in the province and related industries. Famous chefs from all over the world and from Korea participate to showcase various flavors around the world and flavors of Korean cuisine using the ingredients of Jeju Island. The event started on September with three initial rounds, from which nine participants were selected based on submitted videos of their recipe and cooking. Nine finalists out of thousands from all over South Korea came to Jeju Island for doing practical competition in front of the judges. Aronee was one of them. Aronee is a Hotel Culinary Arts student of Cheju Halla University in Jeju city of South Korea. She was a Fashion Designing student in high school, but her interest in cooking and Korean cuisine led her to pursue a career in Culinary Arts.
Aronee is very comfortable with the Korean culture, she even speaks fluent Korean language. Aronee’s interest in Korean culture helped her to cope up in that environment and paved a way to this achievement. She was in Bangladesh when her classes started, she had to do online classes in the first year of varsity because of the ongoing pandemic. Later, she traveled to her dream destination to begin her varsity life practically. In her first day at Cheju Halla University, she met her department head and that was the changing point in her life. They were having a conversation, department head was shocked to hear the fluency of Korean language coming out of Aronee. Then the department head suggested her to apply for the culinary competition which was about to take place in two months. Hearing all these, Aronee was very interested to take part in it. The department head instructed her professor to give her proper training and time.
After asking Aronee how she felt after achieving this feat, she said. “I wasn’t even expecting it. Feels like a miracle, I never thought the judges will like the deshi touch that I have put in my dish. Although the recipe and ingredients was Korean but in the plating I tried to keep the vibe of Bangladesh. But they said it was unique and the judges were happy with my dish which made me very surprised.” “The other participants were very experienced. They studied in culinary high school then went to university to study Culinary Arts. I changed my track from Fashion Designing to Culinary Arts, so it was hard for me to even pass the 1st round. But all the credit goes to my professor Kim Jung-yon for helping me and giving me enough time and teaching me the best from zero skills to 2021 Student Chef of the Year.” She added.
Describing about her dish, she said. “My dish was Jeju Tangerine Horse Meat skewers with spicy mango chutney and sour cream layered dipping. Usually in old days, horse meat was very famous in Jeju Island and now it’s almost disappeared. Also, Jeju Island is famous for tangerines so I made my dish with very local ingredients, and I wanted to keep the touch of Bangladesh so I made the Spicy Mango Chutney.” Aronee is an example of success, her story can surely motivate the youth of Bangladesh to open up with their skills in foreign land and use it for their own good. Not backing down from challenges thrown at us can surely take us to next levels, stepping away from a subject to another one made her visions clear. She knew what she wanted, she knew she has the abilities. Self believe is important, maybe more than any other things.