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padding-left: 4px;padding-top: 15px;padding-bottom: 15px;padding-right: 20px; 2015 Sees the announcement of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge now in its third year, including Port Elizabeth, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Cape on board. The heart-warming enthusiasm and achievement over the past two years has been a joy to see.  


The challenge has gone beyond the competitive and become a unifying spirit, a collaborative force in the hotel industry encompassing the broad and vital role of development and advancement.


The stunning launch in Gauteng took place at Tsogo Sun’s romantic Palazzo Montecasino on Tuesday 10th March. The Crème de la Crème Executive Chefs Dinner, set in the Rosa Room, was an intimate candlelit evening for 50 - tour de force in damask, roses and silver candelabra. The dinner was prepared by four top Executive Chefs; Gerard Vingerling from The Palazzo, Stuart Cason of the Radisson Blu Gautrain, Phil de Villiers 54 on Bath and Jacques Etsebeth, Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton



Delectable salmon pastrami cured and lightly smoked complemented with a quenelle of Lancewood cultured cream, almond thyme and ciabatta crunch was prepared by Executive Chef Stuart Cason, Radisson Blu Gautrain and Executive Chef Phil de Villiers, 54 on Bath. The Rhinofields Chardonnay 2012 from Durbanville Hills was an elegant match. 


Deputy Minister SA Tourism Tokozile Xasa said at the Port Elizabeth launch, "South Africa is fast becoming a culinary hotspot. Culinary tourism is a subset of cultural tourism and contributes significantly to the experience. Cultural diversity is given expression through culinary tourism and serves as a catalyst for social cohesion. So not only do we boast world-class tourism products, but we are firmly establishing ourselves with our diverse lifestyle offerings. It is a singular honour for me to be here with you today and be part of the launch of this initiative embodying the mutually beneficial relationship between the industry and government in capacity building for this sector. Indeed it is a sure way to move South Africa forward." 


Carlen Wahl (GGM Distell Vineyards & Estates says), "In South Africa we have abundant potential young talent and excellent wines, pairing these was the inspiration behind the challenge, creating opportunities for growth. The Challenge encourages a culture of mentorship, promotes skills and at the same time has all the exciting elements of a great competition; fun as well as life changing!" 


Norman Wallace (Director of Operations Tsogo Sun) spoke encouraging words about the state of the hotel industry in SA, how far this had come and the amazing transformation the industry has undergone.
Rupert Jeffries, a pioneer in the concept of luxurious guest houses, today CEO Dragonfly Africa, a leading destination management company. Nadia Bilchik (Associate Producer CNN Atlanta, President of The Greater Impact Communications) emceed the evening with great panache.
Robert Jasper General Manager of The Palazzo Montecasino was our most hospitable host. 

Charismatic General Managers Mark Wernich of the Radisson Blu Gautrain and Debra Pillay from 54 on Bath.
Nadia Bilchik with Stuart Cason Executive Chef of the Radisson Blu Gautrain and mentor of the winner of 2014. The winning chef Zwelithini Tshuma representing Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel will be experiencing a three week stay at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai where he will be introduced to the varied cultures and unique tastes of India in their superb restaurants with return flights provided by Cape Legends. 



Dynamic trio; Executive Chef Gerard Vingerling of the Palazzo Montecasino with Phil de Villiers (Executive Chef 54 on Bath) and Jean Luc Stanic (Palazzo Montecasino).
Stuart Cason with Candidate Chef Tshepo Dikgole and Wine Steward Siyabonga Dlepu.



Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton Executive Chefs Jacques Etsebeth and Steven La Fontaine with Candidate Chef Nkami Meriam Ngoveni and assistant Simamkele Twani who prepared the stunning canapés. Among them, minute crêpes filled with smoked salmon and Lancewood cream cheese, pork belly with honey mustard and white truffle oil, wasabi prawns with sesame, soya and avocado. Pongrácz Brut was a scintillating pairing. 


Our launches are the special occasions where the Candidate Chefs and Wine Stewards are introduced individually by the Executive Chefs and where each hotel draws the fine Cape Legends wine estate that they will be partnered with for the duration of the challenge.


The winning Candidate Chef will enjoy a brilliant opportunity of a three weeks working visit to the stunning Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai with a return flight generously provided by Cape Legends. While a splendid bursary from the Cape Wine Academy will be awarded to the top wine steward plus a mentored travel experience with Tsogo Sun to their five star properties and more!


"There is no greater act of hospitality
than to embrace a stranger as one’s own!"  


Stirring words from the Hong Kong based Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts with over 81 hotels in their portfolio worldwide. The sponsorship from Shangri-La Dubai to one of the most bustling and frenetic cities in the world is a life changing experience for our talented winner.  

Hilary Biller Food Editor Sunday TimesLesley Simpson


Peter and Hilary Biller (Celebrated Author & Editor Sunday Times Food Weekly Supplement) with Glynnis Branthwaite (Protactic). Guest speaker Hilary Biller who has been prominent in the food world for many years spoke about ambition, perseverance and rewards.
Brenda Wilkinson (Rio Largo Olive Oil), Hélène Bezuidenhoudt (Regional Manager Atout France) and Lesley Simpson (Simpson PR) representing the Shangri-La in South Africa.


Rio Largo Olive Oil will be presenting a R15 000 bursary for the ‘Top Woman Candidate Chef’.  


Andrew Rogers (CEO Hospitality Property Fund) is awarding a R15 000 bursary for the ‘Most Promising Candidate Chef’ including a week travelling to their top properties, a working stage with Executive Chefs, flights and accommodation included and R3 000 cash. 

South African Pork Producers Organisation SAPPO


Marieta Human Nutritionist and Judge on behalf of South African Pork Producers Organisation (SAPPO) with Simon Streicher (CEO SAPPO).
Nadia and Annetta Bilchik with Hella and Heinz Brunner (Honorary Lifetime President of SACA, past Vice-Chairman of the World Body of Chefs. Heinz, one of our eminent judges in Gauteng, presently heading the team for the Culinary Olympics. 


Throughout South Africa our panel of top judges headed by Paul Hartmann of the South African Chefs Academy includes Brian McCune (Accredited judge of the World Association of Chefs Society), Heinz Brunner, Wolfgang Leyrer (Past Exec Chef of the Carlton and the original Culinary Olympics Team and now Hospitality Consultant), Marieta Human, Chris de Klerk, Michelle Grimbeek and Kristina Beuthner (Cape Wine Academy), Higgo Jacobs (South African Sommeliers Association), Samarie Smith (Media 24), Germain Lehodey (Sommelier), Fatima Stanley (City & Guilds External Verifier), Craig Elliott (Exec Head Chef Unilever Food Solutions SA), Carolyn McDougall (Dean, International Hotel School).

Annette Kesler

Tumelo Mushi-Sebopa (Food Editor True Love) with Annette Kesler (Editor


Urbane Kaliq Essop General Manager Southern Sun Hyde Park Hotel with Mark Wernich. 54 on Bath Candidate Chef Lutendo Funyufunyu who assisted Phil de Villiers in preparing the superb dinner.  



Radisson Blu Candidate Chef Tshepo Dikgole will be pairing his three-course menu for the challenge with the Durbanville Hills range of fine wines.  



Semiyi Zake (Business Day TV) with Chania Morritt-Smith (Managing Editor, and Gillian Anstey (Sunday Times)



Andrea Pafitis-Hill (Editor Food & Home Entertaining) with Kate Liquorish (Food24).  Judges Kristina Beuthner of the Cape Wine Academy
and Chris de Klerk (CWM) Wine Ambassador Cape Legends. 


The wine stewards will be attending a Cape Wine Academy lecture on Thursday 14th May at the Cape Town Hotel School and the cherry on the top, a visit up Table Mountain! Prizes include generous bursaries by the Cape Wine Academy for our top three winning Candidate Wine Stewards, plus the most "Up and Coming" which they share with the South African Sommeliers Association - a magnificent opportunity, a leg up in their chosen career! In addition, the winning wine steward will attend two prestigious wine auctions and tastings with Tsogo Sun accompanied by top Regional Sommelier of the Western Cape, Georgio Meletiou, and participate in the bidding process!


Jacobus Hoffman and Marieta Human of South African Pork Producers’ Organisation.


Sous vide pork roulade, pork hock terrine, pea purée, caramelised apple and fig, shallots and pommes frites prepared by Executive Chef Gerard Vingerling, The Palazzo Montecasino paired with Zonnebloem Limited Release Shiraz - an unctuous pairing! 


2015 Sees a R15 000 bursary award for the Candidate Chef that produces the most excellent pork dish, the SAPPO Purple Ribbon Award. 



Canapés of rare marinated beef steak, creamy feta from Lancewood and Calamata olives. Candidate Wine Steward Vusi Msipha of the Protea Hotel Balalaika with mentor Ruhan Duvenage who will be attending the Grape to Glass days in the beautiful Cape Winelands in May and meeting Zonnebloem’s Cellarmaster Deon Boshoff and their excellent team of winemakers. Len Maseko Freelance Journalist formally of the Sowetan. 


In the first two weeks of July each of the hotels around South Africa will be showcasing their candidates’ menu, events that will be selectively open to the public. R25 of each ticket sold will be donated to StreetSmart SA.


Miguel Chan


Highly respected Tsogo Sun Group Sommelier Miguel Chan


A sumptuous dessert prepared by Gerard Vingerling Hazelnut Praline Chocolate Terrine served with peach and lavender sorbet. A magical pairing with Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest


The last word, Avanti Coffee served on the terrace, enjoyed by the many guests that lingered. 


Avanti Coffee have announced that they are generously awarding R15 000 cash prize to be shared equally among the top three winning Candidate Chefs and Wine Stewards. 





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