Back in February The Okura Prestige Bangkok invited students studying in the hospitality, kitchen and tourism industries to take part in the cooking competition and received a large number of applications via short cooking videos on Facebook and video clips sent to the organising committee. In the first round of the competition, 9 hotel executives selected the top 7 applicants for face-to-face interviews with Executive Chef Alvaro Roa, Master Chef Shigeru Hagiwara and the hotel’s Director of Human Resources, Khun Oraya Temkasarp. They then selected the 5 finalists who were given the opportunity to train for three weeks during 3 – 21 June 2019 in the kitchen of Yamazato Japanese Restaurant with Chef Hagiwara and his team. The finalists then put their culinary skills to the test in competition format and each presented special creation dishes at the Judges’ Panel Night held on 21 June 2019.
On the first day of training in the kitchen at Yamazato Japanese Restaurant, the 5 finalists were assigned an alphabetic designation based on 'O K U R A':
- Representing O was Ms. Napaswan Prakobkit
- Representing K was Ms. Papawarin Kaenchan
- Representing U was Ms. Kamonchanok Khamprom
- Representing R was Ms. Kanitta Pongaekkawat
- Representing A was Ms. Napassorn Supholchai