The Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge regional cook-offs took place in June in Johannesburg at the International Hotel School, in Durban at the Unilever Food Solutions state of the art kitchens, and in Cape Town at the excellent International Hotel School. Choose from delectable starters, delicious mains and divine desserts, recipes from our winners! 


“There is an art to designing a balanced menu,” says Annette Kesler Editor Showcook.com. “Describing dishes precisely, exciting both the palate and the imagination using choice ingredients; premium SA Pork in myriad ways, Lancewood soft white cheeses, Rio Largo olive oil and Khoisan sea salt. Talent, creativity, skill and enthusiasm are what our candidate chefs and wine stewards brought to their splendid entries." 


Crowning their achievements was a plethora of generous and fabulous prizes awarded by Cape Legends and Distell, superb KitchenAid SA, ScanPan Cookware and Global Knives from AL&CD Ashley. Meaningful bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy, South African Sommeliers Association, Hospitality Property Fund and cash prizes from SA Pork and Avanti. In addition, delectable Lancewood, Von Geusau chocolates, elegant Riedel glassware and books from Struik Lifestyle.

(Left to right) Our panel of top judges; Alan Romburgh (Hospitality Consultant), Marieta Human (Nutritionist representing South African Pork) and chief judge, Heinz Brunner (Honorary Lifetime President of the South African Chefs Association, past Vice Chairman of the World Body of Chefs and team manager of the SA Culinary Olympics Team). On the wine side; Germain Lehodey (Sommelier), Sandy Harper (CWM) and chief judge, Higgo Jacobs (Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association).


Jennifer’s entry was exemplary,
showing off her
creativity and skill



Jennifer Robb from Grootbos Private Nature Reserve with her homemade linguini, shiitake pâté, pickled shimeji mushrooms and Scottish Leader Whisky foam, which was paired with Durbanville Hills Chardonnay 2015 was superb! 
For her main course she prepared Asian pork belly and fillet served with braised fennel, fennel purée with Szechuan pepper and apple chutney, which married delectably with Durbanville Hills Rhinofields Merlot 2010. 
Dessert, Scottish Leader infused chocolate torte with caramel cheesecake and sesame macaroons, paired with a Scottish infusion cocktail - sublime!





Serves 6


200 g ’00′ flour
5 g turmeric
2 eggs
½ onion, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 lemons, zest and juice  
125 ml sauvignon blanc
chopped parsley (small bunch)


In a thermo mix add flour, turmeric and eggs together until it forms a breadcrumb consistency, then remove and knead together to form a stiff pasta dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until completely cool. Set up the pasta machine, divide the pasta into three sections and roll until thin enough to fit into the pasta machine. Roll and cut pasta on the linguini setting. Blanch pasta in boiling salted water until al dente and place into an iced water bath to stop the cooking process.  When ready to serve sauté onions and garlic, and lemon zest. Add the pre-cooked pasta and toss with white wine and lemon juice. Add chopped parsley and serve.


Mushroom Pâté:
1 kg mixed mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small bunch thyme
25 ml Scottish Leader Whisky
 400 g Lancewood cream cheese


Chop mixed mushrooms and sauté with onions, garlic and thyme on a low heat. Once softened add whisky and flambé. Add cream cheese and melt until there is little to no liquid in the pan. Blend in a thermo mix on high for 30 seconds and mix to remove any air bubbles. Blend again on medium speed for 1 minute. Press through a fine sieve to get a smooth consistency, place in a piping bag and allow to cool in the refrigerator.


Pickled Mushrooms:
2 packets Shimeji mushrooms, ends trimmed
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 star aniseed
4 cardamom pods
10 coriander seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric (for colour)


In a small saucepan add all ingredients except mushrooms and bring to the boil. Once boiling add mushrooms and continue to cook on heat for about 3 minutes. Remove and place in a container in the refrigerator to cool completely.


Whisky Foam: 
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 small bunch thyme
500 g mixed mushrooms
125 ml Scottish Leader Whisky
125 ml water
25 g soy lecithin


In a saucepan sauté onion, garlic and thyme, add mushrooms and continue cooking until softened, add whisky and flambé. Top up with water and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Strain liquid and allow for cooling. Add soy lecithin and blend with a stick blender just before serving. Foam should last about 5 minutes.



Valuable input!


(Left to right)  Chad Bosman (Palazzo Tsogo Sun), Jacques Etsebeth (Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton), Tarryn Coetzee (Southern Sun Hyde Park Tsogo Sun) and Adrian Vaughan (Sun International The Maslow). Avanti Coffee who have provided the teams with innumerable cappuccinos and espressos to the delight of all on the journey, and grateful for the valuable cash award.  



Understated excellence! 


‘BEST STARTER’ was awarded to Courtney Horne, Sun International The Maslow with her symphony of beetroot with truffled goat’s cheese and Lancewood cultured cream. 


A SYMPHONY OF BEETROOT, GOAT’S CHEESE AND TRUFFLE  Zonnebloem Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Serves 6


Beetroot Spaghetti:
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
¼ tsp Khoisan sea salt 
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
1 large raw beetroot


Place all ingredients except beetroot into a saucepan, gradually bring to the boil. While the pickle is on the stove place the beetroot on a turner slicer. Rotate beetroot until the desired amount of spaghetti is reached, about half the beetroot depending on the size. Place remainder aside for use later. Take the pickling liquid off the stove and place freshly cut beetroot spaghetti into the liquid and set aside to cool.


Beetroot Disks:
1 cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 inch cinnamon
2 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
½ large raw beetroot


Place all ingredients except beetroot into a saucepan, gradually bring to the boil. Slice the beetroot on a mandolin 0.1mm thick. Cut beetroot with a 2 cm round cutter. Once the pickling liquid is ready, pour over the cut beetroot disks and allow to cool and refrigerate.


Beetroot Caviar:
500 ml cold oil
70 ml beetroot disk pickle
20 ml water
10 ml orange juice
1.5 g agar agar


Place vegetable oil into a tall glass and place in a freezer to cool. On the stove, place pickling liquid, water and orange juice and bring to the boil. Add agar agar and whisk until incorporated. Remove from heat. Allow liquid to cool slightly and place into a bottle/syringe. Take the oil out of the freezer and slowly start dripping the agar agar liquid into the cold oil. Once the required amount of caviar has been reached empty out the oil into a bowl and drain the caviar on paper towel.


Beetroot paint:
2 l water
3 whole beetroot and offcuts
Pinch of Khoisan sea salt 


Cut beetroot into medium cubes. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until beetroot is soft, about 20 - 30 minutes. Once soft place in a thermomix and blend on 7 for 1 minute. Do not discard the water. Decrease the speed to 2 and gradually add water into the blender +- 2 tbsp. Turn speed up to 10 and Verona on 80°C for 5 minutes. Strain through a chinois. Keep the pulp. Set paint aside in a refrigerator for use later on.


Beetroot Peel:
Beetroot paint pulp


The beetroot pulp that was kept aside is spread out thinly onto wax paper or a silicon mat and placed in an oven at 120°C for 1 hour. Check periodically. The peel is done when you tap the pulp and it no longer sticks to your finger and is completely dried. If after an hour it still hasn’t dried out continue to leave it in the oven until the correct consistency is achieved. Take out of oven and allow to cool. Should peel off wax paper in shards once completely dry.


Beetroot Meringue:
2 egg whites
120 g castor sugar
30 ml beetroot paint


In a mixing bowl whip the egg whites to medium peak. Slowly start adding the sugar until incorporated fully. Allow meringue mixture to whip for 5 minutes untouched to achieve a medium/stiff peak. Slowly pour the beetroot purée into the mixer and allow to incorporate fully. Take the meringue mix out of the blender and place onto wax paper or a silicon mat and into the oven at 120°C until the meringue is no longer sticky to the touch (20 minutes). Take the meringue out of the oven and allow to cool fully before handling. 


Candied Parisienne:
beetroot, large
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 whole star anise


Using a parisienne, scoop out 14 balls. Blanch the balls in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften slightly. Place sugar, water and balls in a pan on the stove to create a sugar syrup and allow the flavour to infuse. Once the sugar syrup is rather sticky remove from the stove and allow to cool before removing from the liquid to place into the refrigerator for later use. To warm, place the balls into the sugar syrup and allow to warm and glaze the balls.


Truffled Goat’s Cheese and Crème Fraîche:
125 ml goat’s cheese
50 ml Lancewood cultured cream (crème fraîche)
5 ml truffle oil


Soften goat’s cheese with the back of a spoon. Add cultured cream and continue to soften. The mixture should remain relatively thick. Add truffle oil and mix until incorporated fully. Season to taste. Place in a container and refrigerate.


When plating starters, place a large cutter onto the plate. Using the beetroot paint and a pastry brush make a circle around the plate. Quenelle the truffled goat’s cheese and crème fraîche and place three equal sized on each plate. Roll the spaghetti on a chopstick and set three on a plate in-between. Peel the beetroot peel off the wax paper in shards and place three shards on the plate randomly. Break the meringue and use three shards, placed randomly onto the plate. Place the caviar on the quenelles. Place three parisiennes onto the plate in-between the spaghetti and the quenelles. Three disks are to be placed onto the plate near the parisiennes. Garnish with basil.


Lennox Mbanga wins BEST DESSERT with Lancewood (African Pride Hotels, The Arabella Hotel & Spa)



On the rise! Lennox Mbanga wins BEST DESSERT with Lancewood, African Pride Hotels, The Arabella Hotel & Spa (Neethlingshof & Van Ryn’s)




Serves 6


Lemon Coconut Cheesecake:
45 g Lancewood mascarpone
5,5 g castor sugar
4,5 g lemon juice
1 cup desiccated coconut
18.7 g gelatin
125 ml whipped cream


Mix mascarpone, castor sugar, lemon juice and coconut. Whisk until smooth and combined. Add melted gelatin and fold whipped cream in the mixture. Pour into a mold and allow to set in the refrigerator.  


Malva Pudding:
375 g cake flour
5 g baking powder
2 g bicarbonate of soda
60 g castor sugar
9 g apricot jam
5 g melted butter
1 egg
125 ml milk
15 ml vinegar


Combine cake flour, baking powder and bicarb in a bowl. Mix castor sugar, jam, melted butter and egg in a separate bowl and add to the dry mixture, then fold in milk and vinegar, and bake at 180°C for 45 minutes. 


Crushed Honeycomb:
100 g honey
100 g sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda


Melt sugar in a small saucepan until golden brown and add honey. Mix well, add bicarb of soda and pour immediately over baking paper to rise.


Amarula Cream:
15 ml Amarula Cream Liqueur
160 g white chocolate
2 egg yolks
40 g sugar
240 g cream


In a small saucepan, melt white chocolate. Whip egg yolks and sugar together and add melted white chocolate. Semi whip cream and add egg, sugar and chocolate mix. Add Amarula and allow to chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.




A triumph of talent and will to succeed when Simamkele Twani from the Protea Hotel Balalaika, Sandton won ‘The Most Promising Chef’ (partnered with Pongrácz and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky) awarded by the Hospitality Property Fund

presented by Ashleigh Christie.




Serves 6


Cured Salmon:
500 g Norwegian Salmon, boneless and skinned 
500 ml Pongrácz Rosé
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp castor sugar
1 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped


Portion salmon into cubes approx. 1.5cm. Combine remaining ingredients and pour curing mixture over salmon. Allow for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Pickled Radishes:   
6 radishes 
½ cup white vinegar
1 cup water
30 g castor sugar
Khoisan sea salt, to taste


Thinly slice radishes. Mix vinegar, water, castor sugar and salt together. Place in saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Pour pickling mixture over radishes. Allow for approximately 5 – 10 minutes.


Avocado Mousse:  
2 avocados
250 g Lancewood cream cheese
½ cup cream
Khoisan sea salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste


Peel and remove the pip from the avocados. Blend with cream cheese, cream and season with salt and pepper.


Pineapple and Chilli Salsa:
½ pineapple, peeled 
30 ml Rio Largo olive oil
2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
1 lime, juice and zest
1 red onion, finely chopped 
2 tsp mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander, roughly chopped
Khoisan sea salt, to taste


Brunnoise pineapple. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt. 


Sesame Seed Crust:
60 ml Rio Largo olive oil
Khoisan sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp sesame seeds


Just before serving mix olive oil, salt and pepper. Rub salmon cubes in mix and crust with sesame seeds.


2 tbsp capers
1 small bunch micro coriander leaves 
1 small bunch dragon snap flowers


Just before serving deep fry capers. Place coriander leaves and dragon snap flowers.



Mentors to the fore! 


(Left to right) Daryn Bowers (Protea Hotel Edward), Jodie Gillespie (Beverly Hills), Nathania Wasserman (Beverly Hills), Shaun Munro (Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani), Sandi Richards (Beverly Hills), Muktah Ali (Beverly Hills), Prenolan Naidoo (Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani) and Constantijn Hahndiek (Hartford House). Raksha Lakhan (Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani)



A sterling effort, standing out was "Q" winning


Winning The Purple Ribbon Award ‘Best Pork Dish’ R10 000 cash and 3rd Prize Best Chef was Qhubokuhle Ntshangase Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani (Tsogo Sun) known as "Q" and he walked away with prizes from KitchenAid SA, ScanPan, a generous Avanti Cash Award, Struik Lifestyle and Von Geusau Chocolates and commemorative certificates.




Shichimi Togarashi spiced tuna tartare on avocado salsa with crispy pickled ginger and sesame seeded seared salmon with wasabi hollandaise on brushed soy glaze with soya bean jellies. Marriage in heaven with Zonnebloem Merlot 2014 


Serves 6


Tuna Tartare:
400 g tuna, hand chopped
¼ tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
¼ tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
¼ tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp Japanese 7 spice (shichimi togarashi spice)
Khoisan sea salt
crushed black pepper


Mix all ingredients together and check seasoning to taste and set aside.


Avocado Salsa:
100 g avocado, peeled and finely diced, soaked in lemon juice
80 g pineapple, peeled and finely diced
80 g tomato, finely diced
20 g red onion, finely diced
Khoisan sea salt
crushed black pepper


Mix all ingredients together and check seasoning to taste. Now press salsa into mound and then carefully press and top with the tuna tartare before removing the mound, set aside for plating.


Seared Salmon:
400 g salmon, cut to desired portion
Khoisan sea salt
crushed black pepper
100 g black and white sesame seeds


Season the fish, press into the sesame seeds and quickly sear on hot skillet and set aside until required for plating.


Wasabi Hollandaise Sauce:
60 g wasabi powder
100 ml hollandaise sauce 


Simply infuse the hollandaise sauce with the wasabi powder and set aside until required.


Soya Bean Jellies:
200 ml soy sauce
4 g agar agar


Bring soy sauce to the boil add agar agar remove and chill until set before cutting into small cubes.


pea shoots
pickled ginger
soy reduction 
salted roast salmon skin





Roast bacon wrapped pork fillet on prune purée, crumbed Lancewood cheese pork frikkadel on red cabbage, slow-cooked pork belly on apple and sweet potato mash with chilli Khoisan salted crackling Brûlée, carrot and cauliflower purees, asparagus spears, brussel sprout leaves and beetroot jelly served with Dijon mustard pork jus and paired with superb Zonnebloem Chardonnay 2015


Serves 6


Slow Cooked Pressed Pork Belly: 
2 kg pork belly, deboned, trimmed and skin scored
4 tsp Khoisan sea salt
1 tsp jeera seeds, toasted and crushed
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
 2 tbsp Rio Largo olive oil
100 g carrot, chopped
100 g celery, chopped
100 g leeks, chopped
100 g red onion, chopped
1 garlic bulb, chopped
5 sprigs thyme
340 ml Savannah
1 cup water


Preheat oven at 220°C. Combine 2 tsp salt, jeera seeds, black pepper corns, dill and oil in a blender and make a paste, and rub the underside of the belly. Rub the remaining 2 tsp salt into the scored skin side. In a roasting tray add carrots, celery, leeks, red onion, garlic, thyme, cider and water. Place the meat belly side down on the centre of the tray and roast for 20 minutes at 220°C. Drop the temperature to 160°C for 2 hours then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing and reserving the crackling. Strain the liquid and reserve then place a weighted tray on the belly to compress for 30 minutes before trimming to correct portion size required.


Roast Bacon Wrapped Pork Fillet:
1 pork fillet whole, cleaned and trimmed
2 tbsp assorted herbs, finely chopped
1 tsp Khoisan sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
200 g rindless streaky bacon
2 tbsp Hot English mustard


Preheat oven at 200° C. Brush the fillet with mustard before rolling in herbs and season. Lay out the bacon and tightly wrap around fillet, secure with butcher’s twine. Roast for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 160°C for additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest before slicing.


Crumbed Lancewood Pork Frikkadels:
100 g Lancewood cheddar, grated
100 g Lancewood mozzarella cheese, grated
50 g Lancewood cream cheese
pork fillet trimmings, finely chopped
pork belly trimmings, finely chopped
50 g streaky fatty bacon, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped mixed fresh herbs - thyme, parsley, coriander and dill
1 tsp Cajun spice
1 pinch Khoisan sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
½ cup cake flour
2 large eggs
3 cups bread crumbs


Combine cheese, make little balls and freeze. Mix together chopped pork, herbs, Cajun spice and season. Mound the pork mixture around the cheese balls then flour, egg and crumb each ball, chill before deep-frying when required.


Carrot Purée:
200 g carrots, peeled and chopped
150 ml water
150 ml milk
pinch Khoisan sea salt
pinch white pepper


Cook carrots until soft in the combined seasoned water and milk, strain and purée, adjust seasoning.


Cauliflower Purée:
200 g cauliflower florets
150 ml water
150 ml milk
pinch Khoisan sea salt
pinch white pepper


Cook the cauliflower until soft in the combined seasoned water and milk, strain and purée, adjust seasoning.


Prune Purée:
1 cup Rooibos tea
15 pitted prunes
20 ml fresh cream


Soak the prunes in the hot tea until soft then strain and purée adding cream and reserved tea to reach desired consistency.


Beetroot Gel:
2 whole raw beetroot, grated
300 ml water
100 ml apple juice
½ apple, chopped
4 g agar agar 


Boil the grated beetroot in water until desired colour (deep red) then strain, keep the liquid and discard the beetroot pulp. Combine beetroot liquid with apple juice and chopped apples, and simmer further until apple is soft then strain and cool. Discard apple pulp. Add agar agar and heat until thick then chill until required.


Dijon Mustard Jus:
100 ml dry red wine
2 l pork stock
remaining pork belly cooking liquid
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
pinch Khoisan sea salt
pinch white pepper


Heat wine in a saucepan, add stock and remaining cooking liquid and reduce to desired consistency. Add mustard and season.


Crackling Brûlée:
reserved crackling, broken into pieces
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 tsp chilli flakes


Reduce water and sugar until it is dissolved and caramelised. Pour over a silicone mat. Spread immediately with a hot knife. Quickly sprinkle the chilli flakes and crackling. Break into desired pieces. 


Sweet Potato Mash:
300 g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 apple, peeled and cubed
50 ml fresh cream
pinch Khoisan sea salt
pinch white pepper


Bring a small saucepan to the boil with seasoned water, add potato and apple and allow to cook until soft. Strained and purée with cream and season.


Red Cabbage:
300 g red cabbage, shredded
2 tbsp Rio Largo olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced
1 tsp garlic, crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50 ml water
pinch Khoisan sea salt
pinch white pepper


Heat olive oil, add onions then garlic, cabbage and remaining ingredients. Allow to cook on low heat and season to taste.




Raising the bar with Gizelle, a winner!


Second Place in the BEST CHEF category goes to Gizelle Els, NH The Lord Charles (Plaisir de Merle & Black Bottle) with her superb seared Norwegian Salmon Salad with apple caviar, lemon and dill emulsion, fennel bulb vinaigrette and toasted nori paired with Plaisir de Merle Méthode Cap Classique 2014. Pork Wellington with pancetta and dried porcini farce, roasted baby onion, baby heirloom carrots sautéed in sage butter, porcini reduction and green pepper and citrus espuma garnished with foraged wild nasturtium paired with Plaisir de Merle Chardonnay 2014. Black Bottle Whisky ‘Old Fashioned’ Liquid Nitrogen Sorbet chocolate marquise, chocolate brownies and toasted hazelnut and orange praline Plaisir de Merle Petit Verdot.





Serves 6


Black Bottle Whisky “Old Fashioned” Liquid Nitrogen Frozen Sorbet

500 ml water
300 g sugar
150 ml orange juice
60 ml Black Bottle Whisky
3 ml Angostura Bitters

450 ml liquid nitrogen


Mix all ingredients into a steel bowl. Slowly pour in the liquid nitrogen while stirring with a sturdy spoon. The mixture will start to freeze at the edges first. Scrape off the sorbet from the edges and vigorously mix the nitrogen throughout the frozen sorbet. The nitrogen will dissipate and you will be left with an instantly frozen sorbet. Store in the freezer until ready to ball and serve.


Chocolate Marquise:
115 g 60% chocolate covering
40 g butter
1 egg, separated
12 g castor sugar
100 ml Lancewood mascarpone
4 ml vanilla bean paste
1 ml orange flower aroma
2 g orange zest, finely chopped


In a double boiler melt together chocolate and butter. Once melted remove from the double boiler and allow it to cool for 5 – 8 minutes. Once cooled, fold through egg yolk. In a small bowl whisk together egg white and castor sugar to form a soft peak meringue, fold through the vanilla bean paste, orange flower aroma and chopped orange zest. Add mascarpone and meringue to the bowl with the chocolate and gently fold through all the ingredients. Spoon the mixture into a prepared mould and set in the refrigerator.


Chocolate Brownie:
40 g butter
30 g sugar
10 g cocoa powder
3 ml vanilla paste
10 g self raising flour
1 egg
22 g dark chocolate pieces
22 g toasted hazelnut halves


In a saucepan melt butter, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla paste together over a slow heat. Once melted, cool down. Sift the self raising flour and add to the melted butter with beaten egg. Fold together with chocolate pieces and toasted hazelnut halves. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking tin. Bake at 170°C for 20 -25 minutes.


Orange Gel:
160 ml orange juice, strained
20 g sugar
1 ml orange flower aroma
3 ml agar agar


Place orange juice and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add orange flower aroma and sprinkle over agar agar while whisking. Whisk the boiling liquid for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a container and cool. Once cooled cut gel into pieces and blend smooth in a bar blender. Scrape into a piping bag for service.


Roasted Hazelnut and Orange Zest Praline:
4 g orange zest
40 g sugar
40 g isomalt
25 ml orange juice
2 ml vanilla paste
22 g hazelnuts, toasted


Place ingredients except the hazelnuts into a saucepan. Heat while slowly stirring to make sure the sugar and isomalt dissolve and start forming a syrup. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes on a slow heat while stirring occasionally. In an ice bath test the candy by dropping in some of the caramel at stages until the candy is at the desired crack point. When crack point is achieved, remove from the heat. On a lightly greased silicone paper sheet, spread out the chopped hazelnuts and drizzle over the candy so that it sets hard. Break candy into pieces and pulse in a blender keeping a rough crumb type texture.




Off to Prague, Radisson Blu Alcron,
our winner, Rucita Naidoo!


The Beverly Hills (Tsogo Sun) garnered multiple awards winning BEST TEAM, BEST TABLE, and best of all BEST CHEF! Rucita Naidoo will be winging her way to a three-week working stint at the Michelin Star Radisson Blu Alcron in Prague, the magic carpet provided by Cape Legends. Rucita was showered with gorgeous prizes! Congratulations!




With thyme and pancetta dust served on exotic mushrooms with roasted butternut and Khoisan salt purée accompanied by an apple, mint and coriander salsa - A winner with Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes - The Anchorman Chenin Blanc 2014


Serves 6


12 scallops 
½ tsp Rio Largo olive oil
100 g butter
Khoisan sea salt and pepper to taste 
50 ml white wine

Heat saucepan, add oil and butter. Season scallops, cook for 2 minutes on the first side then turn over and cook for a further minute then add the white wine to deglaze, thereafter remove from pan and set aside.


Butternut Purée: 
500 g butternut  
2 tbsp Rio Largo olive oil 
3 cloves garlic 
¼ red chilies, deseeded 
1 tsp coriander powder 
50 g Lancewood cream cheese  
20 ml cream  
20 g butter 
Khoisan sea salt and pepper  


Cut butternut and place in an oven tray add oil, garlic, chillies and coriander powder then roast until soft. Blend until smooth, add cream cheese, cream and butter. Season to taste.


Pancetta Dust:
100 g pancetta
5 g thyme   


Thinly shave pancetta and bake for 15 minutes at 165°C.  Chop thyme and pancetta to make a dust.  


Exotic Mushrooms: 
300 g exotic mushrooms    
100 g butter  
3 cloves garlic, chopped 
Khoisan sea salt and pepper   
5 g thyme 
1 tsp lemon juice and zest  
1/8 chopped red chillies 


Heat pan, add butter, garlic and mushrooms, and season to taste. When almost cooked add thyme, lemon juice and chillies. 


Apple Salsa:
1 ½ green apples, cubed 
1/8 red chillies, chopped 
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp chopped coriander
1 tsp chopped mint
Khoisan sea salt and pepper


Cut apple into cubes and mix with remaining ingredients, season to taste.




Marinated in Rio Largo olive oil, ginger and soy accompanied by a braised apple, pear and pork cheek pie served with cauliflower mousse, bacon, pepperdew and Lancewood cream cheese bitterballen, glazed carrots, bacon and cumin flavoured beetroot and port jus. The wine of choice, Nederburg’s Heritage Heroes, The Motorcycle Marvel 2014 


Serves 6


Pork belly:  
1½ kg pork belly, trimmed 
Khoisan sea salt and pepper
50 g coriander
1 bulb garlic
1 large ginger
2 chillies
250 ml soy sauce
100 g mayonnaise
300 g sugar
20 ml Rio Largo olive oil
¼ cup water


Trim rind and fat from pork belly, salt and pepper both sides. Blend the remaining ingredients and rub all over. Place in a tray and pour the marinade over to cover belly then cover with foil and roast for 1hour and 45min at 165ºC.


For the rind - season with Khoisan sea salt and Rio Largo olive oil 
Roast for +- 20 minutes or until crisp


Pork Cheek Pie:
2 pork cheeks 
Rio Largo olive oil
1 onion, chopped 
1 leek, chopped
1 celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
10 g ginger, sliced
1 red chillies
water to cover


In a heated saucepan, add a little oil and vegetables. Add pork, add water and cook until tender. Reserve the cooking liquid. 


Filling for pie: 
¼ onion, diced
¼ pear, diced
¼ apple, diced
1/8 chillies, diced
cooked pork cheeks
10 g sugar
Rio Largo olive oil
Khoisan sea salt
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg
flour to thicken


Sauté onion, pear, apple and chillies. Add chopped cheek, season and add stock – add flour to thicken the sauce. Allow to cool. Fill pastry with cooled mixture, egg wash pastry to seal and place in the refrigerator on an oiled oven tray until ready to bake. Brush top of pastry with egg yolk. Bake at 165°C for +-15minutes or until golden. 


4 leeks, well rinsed 
300 ml stock
Khoisan sea salt


Portion leeks. Cook in stock until tender. Season to taste.


Cauliflower Purée
500 g cauliflower
50 g butter
Khoisan sea salt and pepper


Boil cauliflower in seasoned water. Drain cauliflower of all liquid. Place in oven to dry out in a perforated tray. Blend with butter until smooth. 


Brussels Sprout Leaves:
brussels sprouts
Khoisan sea salt and pepper
Rio Largo olive oil


Sauté bacon in a little oil until it has some colour. Toss brussels sprout leaves in the bacon oil. Season, remove and drain.


48 cubes carrot 
1 tbsp butter
honey – drizzle


Cook with a little oil when almost done add butter and honey.

2 beetroot
Khoisan sea salt and pepper


Using a Parisian (baller) scoop out 2 beetroot balls per plate. Place in an oven tray season with oil, cumin, Khoisan salt and pepper. Bake until tender.


Port jus: 
750 ml port
100 g sugar
6 cloves of garlic
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp butter
400 ml stock – reserved liquid from the belly


Infuse port with sugar, garlic, thyme and rosemary – reduce to half. Reduce stock to quarter. Combine liquids and further reduce by half. Add butter to reduced jus.


Bitter ballen:
400 g potatoes
4 cloves garlic
Khoisan sea salt and pepper
50 g butter
50 g pepperdews
200 g bacon
50 g Lancewood cream cheese
50 g cake flour 

2 eggs
500 g Panko bread crumbs


Boil potatoes with garlic, salt and pepper. When cooked drain all water and mash. Add butter, pepperdews and bacon, season if needed. Stir in cream cheese. Roll into balls and place in the refrigerator to firm. Dip in flour followed by beaten egg and last breadcrumbs. Return to refrigerator to set until ready to deep fry.




Balsamic and dark chocolate meringue, red berry gel, avocado and ginger mousse, chocolate and ginger soil and aerated caramelia with Rio Largo olive oil finished off with a Van Ryn’s Toffee Sauce. Serve with a Van Ryn’s espresso! 


100 g egg whites 
200 g sugar 
40 g cocoa powder 
70 g chopped dark chocolate
50 g balsamic vinegar 


Whisk egg whites and slowly add sugar in three stages until stiff peak. Fold in cocoa powder and chopped chocolate with vinegar. Line a tray with greaseproof paper. Pipe drops. Bake at 120°C for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.


Dry Caramel and Vanilla Set Cream: 
500 ml cream 
135 g sugar 
½ vanilla pod cut in half 
15 ml gelatine 
water to cover gelatin


Place half the sugar in a high saucepan and caramelize the sugarIn another saucepan heat cream and sugar, add vanilla pod. When sugar is ready slowly add cream and keep whisking. Then melt gelatine and add to the cream mix. Take off the heat and strain. Allow to cool and pour into moulds. Refrigerate for 3 hours.


Van Ryn’s Toffee Sauce: 
300 g sugar
50 g cream
100 ml Van Ryn’s 
50 g butter 
½ tsp agar agar


Heat 150 g sugar to a caramel colour. Heat cream, 50 ml Van Ryn’s and sugar then add to caramelized sugar, add butter and agar agar. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add the balance of the Van Ryn’s. Pour into a piping bag and allow to set.


Mixed Berry Gel: 
500 g mixed berries 
100 g sugar 
½ tsp agar agar
1tsp lemon juice


Cook berries with sugar and lemon juice. Blend and strain, place back into a pan and add agar agar and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Pass through a tammy and put into a piping bag. Allow to set in the refrigerator. 


Avocado and Ginger Mousse:
1 ripe avocado
50 g sugar
100 ml water
10 g ginger 
½ tsp lemon juice


Boil sugar, water and ginger. Blend avocado and slowly add sugar syrup (remove ginger). Pass through a tammy.


Chocolate soil: 
33 g butter 
30 g cake flour 
50 g sugar 
25 g cocoa powder 
2 tbsp ginger powder
2 slices of ginger 
50 g ground almonds


Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until it forms bread crumbs. Bake at 165°C for 15 minutes until it has dried out.


Aerated Caramélia:
500 g Valrhona’s Caramélia 
¼ tsp Rio Largo olive oil
6 cream chargers


Melt chocolate, add oil. Place in an espuma gun and charge six times. Shake well after each charge.



Get set, ready and go! 



Great expectations for 1st Place Best Wine Steward 


Awarded to Sibonele ‘Wonga’ Nongqotho, Cape Grace representing Zonnebloem and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and shortly to become an unofficial ambassador!


A worthy winner!  Wonga will be embarking on a brilliant 10-days travel experience with Distell. On the itinerary; London, a two day stay at the superb Montague on the Gardens (Red Carnation) while working closely with the 67 Pall Mall sommelier team - the most exclusive wine club in the heart of St James then on to Scotland with visits to top distilleries; Deanstone and Bunnahabhain. France, Bisquit Dubouché et Cie in stunning Cognac and finally an introduction to a world of wines in Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin! He will be awarded with a top bursary from the Cape Wine Academy and continue to participate in the South African Sommeliers Association (SASA) programme, Level 2 and 3 courses. He will also have the opportunity of attending the launch of the prestigious Platter Wine Guide, tasting a large and varied selection of South Africa’s finest wines in the company of some of the country’s most experienced and trusted palates. See more on wine.co.za and a superb interview!


"I call it the Blaauw cocktail, after my Beverage Manager who trained me in cocktails and the ingredients are as follows," says Wonga. 



100 ml Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky
100 ml apple juice
25 ml fresh lemon juice
25 ml orange infused rooibos syrup
Ice cubes
Thin slice of orange peel 


Add all liquid ingredients then fill shaker with ice and shake until cold. Add garnish. Et voila! 



(Left to right) Germain Lehodey (Sommelier), Sandy Harper (CWM), Mbulelo Mahlungulu (Hartford House), Donald Xaba (Protea Hotel Edward), Senzo Gcabashe (Beverly Hills), Higgo Jacobs (SASA) and Nonkululeko Sishi (Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani)



The art of the cocktail won charismatic Donald Xaba from the Protea Hotel Edward representing Durbanville Hills & Black Bottle
2nd Place Best Wine Steward


His creative aperitif, ‘Black Bottle’s Scotch & Sea Shells’, which he prepared with two tots Black Bottle, two tots Ruby Port shaken over ice, poured into a serving glass with lemonade topped up with soda water and three to four dashes of Angostura Bitters set the tone for the starter of blackened octopus terrine with root vegetables, Lancewood salad, tomato consommé and pea purée. 


Donald’s mulled Durbanville Hills Merlot Rosé was presented in spectacular fashion. He paired this with white chocolate and pomegranate parfait, honeycomb and chocolate quenelle served with red velvet crumb and macerated orange segments. 



500 ml Durbanville Hills Merlot Rosé  
1 star anise
3 - 4 pods cardamom
3 - 4 cloves
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick 
1 tsp orange zest 
1 tbsp castor sugar


(Serves 4) 

Pour wine and spices into a cocktail shaker. Using a blowtorch bring to a boil. Allow to cool. Strain into a serving glass. Present over a cloud of dry ice.   




On the up and up! 


(Left to right) Alfred Kudzie Mswaka from The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa worked with Nederburg and Bunnahabhain producing a star of a sophisticated wine paired menu which saw him win 3rd Place Best Wine Steward



The South African Sommeliers Association Award for the most "Up & Coming Wine Steward" went to Anita Thomson, Vineyard Hotel (Fleur du Cap and Bisquit) - See Judy Brower’s spotlight on Anita on wine.co.za. 


The Cape Wine Academy was enormously generous with their bursaries and the delighted recipients were our winning wine stewards. 




2015 saw the launch of the Skills Exchange Development Programme at the Beverly Hills with the Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa where we invited leading Chefs from Seychelles, Mauritius and Abu Dhabi. See more… 



This year NOBU at the One&Only, Cape Town was the home for our skills development day where some leading executive chefs demonstrated to a captivated audience of candidates from around South Africa. Among them was brilliant chef patron Franck Dangereux (The Foodbarn), Kyle Hickman (One&Only, Cape Town) pâtissier of note, top Executive Chef Christo Pretorius (Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa), one of SA’s excellent bread makers, Togara Mabharani (Belmond Mount Nelson who won 1st Place for BEST BREAD - see Bread is the Warmest Welcomeand from exquisite Hartford House, Constantijn Hahndiek, who showed off his expertise with superb Midlands trout. 



For the wine stewards, an in-depth wine blending workshop with Guy Webber at Stellenzicht and where Owen O’Reilly, a Mixologist, divulged the secret of scintillating cocktails with Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky.



 At Stellenzicht, winemakers for a day! 



Blended, bottled and labeled, a fresh bevy of experts!
The enthusiasm, interest and the quest for knowledge was great.


(Left to right) The winning team of blenders were thrilled as punch! Mbulelo Mahlungulu (Hartford House), Richard Lamberts (Southern Sun The Cullinan), Francois Moses (Taj Cape Town) and Melikhaya ‘Grant’ Sondezi (One&Only Cape Town) with Guy Webber (Stellenzicht). Mthokozisi Moyo (The Westin), Sibonele ‘Wonga’ Nongqotho (Cape Grace) and Nonkululeko Sishi (Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani)



Black Bottle cocktails hit the spot with
Owen O’Reilly showing the way! 

Senzo Gcabashe (Beverly Hills) and Donald Xaba (Protea Hotel Edward) intent on producing their winner for the day!


See more on wine.co.za *Spotlight*  

Don’t miss 
Eugene Yiga’s feature
Wine, Dine & Shine! on 
We Are Africa Travel.com

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