Young Achiever: Sousa lands job at Marcus’
Aspiring chef Anthony Sousa’s career prospects took a huge step forward on Saturday.
Mr Sousa, 20, a Bermuda College culinary student, won first place in a cooking competition judged by celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.
As part of his prize, he landed a job at Marcus’ restaurant and the opportunity to cook alongside Mr Samuelsson.
Mr Sousa said: “It feels unreal. I have been thinking about this all week and it has been a stress on my mind.”
Mr Sousa faced stiff competition from fellow Bermuda College students Aaron Albuoy and Serena Simons.
After impressing with a salad in the first round, he sealed victory in the final with his Dorito-crusted fried chicken, which was adjudged superior to a chicken dish from Ms Simons.
Mr Albuoy had bowed out in the first round despite praise from the judges for his fish taco.
The judges complimented Mr Sousa’s and Ms Simons’s final dishes after a stressful finish in which the runner-up suffered a cut finger.
Mr Samuelsson said the standard of competition during the contest was amazing.
He said: “You can see the talent of these young people. When Serena had her accident, she didn’t stop. She kept on cooking.
“Anthony was just a smidgen stronger on his first course, but the talent is here. The passion is here.
“I think Bermuda College deserves a big hats-off for the way they mentor these students. Without their teachers, they would not be prepared for this.”
Mr Samuelsson said it was important for Marcus’ and the Hamilton Princess Hotel and Beach Club to offer a pathway to success for young chefs.
He said: “When Andrew Green spoke to me several years ago, he said he wanted to focus on the next generation of talent from Bermuda.
“Here we have three different students doing a great job, and we need to be here to support it.
“The next generation of talent is here, and they will come from the Bermuda College.”
Mr Sousa said he was introduced to cooking as a child by his family.
He said: “Ever since I was little, I was interested. I used to go to my aunt’s house with and my mother and cook.
“I realised I wanted to do something that I was passionate about so I can wake up every morning and have no problem with going to work.”
He said he studied hard in the days leading up to the competition.
Mr Sousa said: “At home I was just looking things up, thinking about my proteins. With that mystery basket, you don’t know what to expect.
“I tried to be mentally prepared for whatever happened.”
At some point during the competition, he said he burnt his fingers, but he didn’t notice until after he was out of the kitchen.
He said: “With all of the adrenalin, I didn’t even feel it. It wasn’t until they were judging that I felt it.
“It comes with my job. You just have to push through it.”
Asked what advice he would give other young people interested in cooking, he said: “If you want it, keep going for it and keep pushing for it.
“You will mess up, but you have to learn from it and keep going.”
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