Lunch took place at the gorgeous NH Lord Charles with an outstanding collaborative menu to celebrate the day from Executive Chefs; Shyam Longani (Taj Cape Town), Louis van Reenen (African Pride Arabellla Hotel & Spa), Norman Heath (Radisson Blu Waterfront), Siyamdumisa Cijana (Sous Chef Crystal Towers), Juan Neethling (Southern Sun Waterfront), Benjamin Conradie (Grootbos Private Nature Reserve) and Jean-Pierre La Motte (NH The Lord Charles) with Brenda Wilkinson (Rio Largo), Annette Kesler (Editor, Showcook) and Megan Angus (Woodview Farm). 


(Left) Carina Gous of Distell with Wayne Siepman (General Manager African Pride by Marriott Arabella Hotel & Spa (Right) Mike & Chania Morritt-Smith (Managing Editor, Showcook) with Daniel Méndez (Director NH The Lord Charles)

The Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge provides the opportunity and inspiration for the most talented and creative trainees, giving them goals and the possibility of achieving success not only in South Africa, but internationally to become ambassadors for our hospitality industry. We are delighted that top hotels in South Africa have given this initiative their wholehearted support. This is the ideal time to thank Distell for the vision and continued participation in the Challenge allowing for mentorship and the growing of skills across the board, which in turn has given great encouragement and recognition to the candidates. 


We are grateful for the vision of our hoteliers recognizing young talent - searching for, finding the perfect candidates and nurturing them. The common thread that runs throughout is their will to succeed. After all having motivated, goal driven, enthusiastic staff is the backbone of an industry that is productive and flourishing. 


(Centre) Executive Chef Malika van Reenen’s deeply flavoured shellfish broth with seared salmon, peas and Khoisan salted Kataifi. Malika proudly introduced her candidates; Chef Romario Regter and Wine Steward Alvezo Abrahams who drew Fleur du Cap and Bisquit to pair their three course menu for the Cook-Offs in June… (see more on Showcook Facebook)!


Alvezo Abrahams was born in Robertson in the Western Cape into a family that worked in the wine and hospitality industry in Robertson for decades. He fondly remembers running around the DeWet cellars as a child marveling at the intriguing sights and aromas.  Joining the Cape Grace family six years ago, Alvezo’s showed ambition and over time he was given the opportunity to move up to Signal Restaurant, which he embraced and excels at. His knowledge of cuisine is helping to further his wine acumen and hopefully he will move on to becoming a wine steward and eventually sommelier. 


"No day in the industry is the same," Alvezo says, "which is why this is such a rewarding career!" 


When he is not hard at work at the Cape Grace you will find him writing poetry, sketching or pairing his favourite wine varietal with a hearty pasta dish. We are delighted that he will be representing us in the Challenge this year, and able to forge new relationships with up and coming sommeliers and wine masters. 


Romario Regter, who has been part of the Cape Grace for three years and is currently a demi Chef de Partie, says he has a few butterflies fluttering around, but he is exceptionally excited to participate. He grew up in Lentegeur in Mitchells Plain and attributes the love of the kitchen to his grandmother who passed down the culinary tips and tricks throughout his childhood. Since her recent passing these memories have become ever more endearing, encouraging him to honour her contribution through his culinary success. He believes that in order to succeed it is imperative to have a passion for what you are doing and attributes his creativity to his Cape Malay heritage regarding every part of the gastronomic process as a work of art. With his plate as his canvas Romario believes that he is able to express himself as an individual. The Cape Grace is excited to see him represent the brand this year. 

Stewart Banner, our gracious MC who has been an integral part of the Challenge from its inception five years ago, will be joining us at the Southern Sun Cape Sun on Saturday 5th August to announce the 2017 winners! (Right) Louis van Reenen and Jean-Pierre La Motte - two of our committed mentors! There is a wonderful side to the competition from networking, camaraderie and good humour in abundance. All the qualities that add to the Challenge. 


Each year we travel the length and breadth of the country meeting new candidates, introducing and outlining the competition. During this period we held four outstanding regional events to launch the 2017 Challenge; three delightful lunches and one elegant diner; The Palace of the Lost City, Hartford House in the Midlands, NH The Lord Charles in Somerset West and The Vineyard on the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The menus were a huge collaborative effort by all the Executive Chefs accompanied by a superb choice of wines and fine artisan spirits from our admirable partner Distell who has among the finest and most historic wine estates in the Cape.


Carolyn Miller-Krogh


Tatiana Marcettau (Sommelier Cape Grace) with Jean Vincent Ridon (Sommeliers Academy), Kathryn Rae (Assistant Sommelier Grootbos) and Stacey Lee Roberts (Restaurant Manager Radisson Blu Waterfront), (Right) Carolyn Miller-Krogh and Walter Krogh


At each of the launches the hotel teams introduced their candidates. Drawing the wine and spirit partners each year creates an exciting buzz!


On the wine side there is tremendous growth with superb tuition from The Cape Wine Academy and The South African Sommeliers Association. Pushing the boundaries, introducing a more in-depth wine appreciation, taking into consideration the students’ capabilities, ultimately preparing them for a satisfying career. Instilling and encouraging a love and understanding of wine culture, which has in turn produced some fine sommeliers, wine stewards and knowledgeable waiters. For them we hope that this will become a commitment to a lifetime choice of career.


Executive Chef Louis van Reenen (African Pride Arabella Hotel & Spa) with Candidate Wine Steward Tinashe Maguduru and Chef Hayden Cronje 


Armed with a certificate in Marketing and Management, Tinashe Maguduru started work at the Arabella Hotel in November 2012. 

"Tinashe has shown both initiative and skills when it comes to food and wine pairing, serving our guests in our fine dining restaurant, ‘Jamani’ with passion, zeal and zest," says Louis van Reenen. Tinashe has, through his hardworking and commitment, won a number of merit awards besides showing an interest in the management part of business.


For Hayden Cronje Sundays were spent in the kitchen where he cooked with his grandmother as a young lad in Johannesburg. Quite obviously he had a talent for cooking and entertaining, eventually studying hospitality management at the Swiss Hotel school in JHB. Good practical experience was at the Fairway Hotel & Spa, Crown Plaxa, Bryanston Country Club and the Rosebank Hotel. Now at Arabella, Hayden enjoys experimenting, he loves the heat and excitement of à la carte service. Food wise he remains a true carnivore enjoying using the less familiar cuts, often those which are overlooked. 

Enver Mally (Chairman of the Board of Cape Town Tourism) Sue Rosenberg, Stewart and Sheila Banner, Jeff Roseburg (GM Southern Sun Waterfront) and Jacques Meyer (Tsogo Sun Marketing Manager, Cape Region) 


Enver Mally (Chairman of the Board Cape Town Tourism) gave us an excellent update on tourism, which is flourishing and healthy (may it continue!). The hospitality industry is gearing itself up to meet and be able to cope with the increasing numbers that are visiting our shores. This sector is a real job generator!


The UK remained the leading source market for overseas arrivals to SA in 2016 (447,840 arrivals), followed by the US (345,013) and Germany (311,832). China remained the leading growth market, with year-on-year growth recorded at 38%. Arrivals from India grew 22%, but happily Spain has become a strong player too. 

We are fortunate at this time to have excellent leadership at the helm of the South African hotel sector, known worldwide for professionalism. In addition they have admirable social responsibilities collectively bringing enormous benefits to their employees, their families and local communities. Their vital contribution towards building a better South Africa will be unveiled in Winners All, a superb book that is being published in the months to come to celebrate the fifth year of the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge. 


(Left) Nicole Dupper (Imibala) and Ann Wallis-Brown (Communications) (Right) Melanie Burke (Chairman StreetSmart SA) and Peter Weeks 


Melanie Burke (Chairman StreetSmart SA) explains that StreetSmart is a conduit fundraising organization that partners with restaurants to receive donations from diners to support their own locally based beneficiary organizations. In this way locally run programmes prevent the vulnerable from becoming street children and help children already on the streets through reintegration back into schools or families. 


Last year, StreetSmart restaurants and their diners raised over R1 million nationally. The top donor was La Mouette in Cape Town. La Mouette says that, “Contributing to a worthy cause is such a big part of the La Mouette story. We work long hours and wish we could spend time doing the charity work, however this is not always possible therefore StreetSmart provides the ideal vessel for us to help a wonderful and tangible cause. We are indeed proud to be associated with StreetSmart SA.”

Fleur du Cap is a Distell much loved and much celebrated wine produced at Die Bergkelder, one of the most awarded wines in South Africa. (Right) Mariëtte Crafford, Chania Morritt-Smith and Tirsa Fourie of Golden Reef Milling Bio-Wheat. One of the vital aspects of the Challenge is helping to raise the profile of South Africa’s bread. This has become increasingly important for general health. We were especially thrilled to have Bio-Wheat, one of the finest stone ground unbleached natural flours that due to the growing process reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. 


Each year inspiring, motivated speakers passionate about their fields with fresh ideas are introduced at the ‘Orientations’. We enjoyed having Dorah Sitole (Former Editor of True Love) on ‘achievement’, Sally-Ann Creed (Nutritional Therapist) on ‘hidden sugars’, Marcelle Warner on the joys of vertical gardens and in Durban Jean Paul Videau (artisan baker) on the essence of the honest loaf.

(Centre) Superb Chefs Shyam Longani and his wife Harpreet Kaur who after many years at the TAJ Cape Town have returned to India, but have promised to keep closely in touch!) (Right) Chilled Gazpacho, pickled cherry tomatoes, roasted pine nuts and fruits of the forest presented by Shyam Longani, Taj Cape Town, which paired superbly with Nederburg Heritage Heroes Beautiful Lady.


They say that there is always a story in Nederburg and cellarmaster Andrea Freeborough continues her unrelenting search for top quality. Andrea and her team should be applauded for four - five star ratings - a stellar achievement and for the second time Nederburg is the richly deserving ‘Platter’s Winery of the Year’. Congratulations Nederburg sole South African winery featured in the esteemed Drinks International World’s most admired brands Top 50 list this year and has made the 36th position rising from 49th place in 2016.


(Left) Vanilla Poached Norwegian salmon served with avocado, cucumber and Lancewood cream cheese, miso flakes and beetroot caviar presented by Norman Heath, Radisson Blu Waterfront (Centre) Candidate Wine Steward Jacques de Villiers, Chef Banoxolo Bruce Mgqaba and Executive Chef Norman Heath who worked with Stellenzicht and Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky


Jacques de Villiers, fairly new to the hospitality industry, is striving to acquire knowledge to build a base for the future. He is enthusiastic and innovative, always trying to improve the guest experience. After finishing Matric he immediately began his career at the Café del Sol in the Strand where he was enchanted by the wizardry of cocktail bar tending. Jiggers and muddlers were an excellent substitute for school books! In January this year he entered his first competition showcasing technique and creativity, getting through to the qualifying rounds of the international world-class cocktail competition. Participating in the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge this year is a great opportunity Jacques feels to build new relationships, gain more exposure to the world of wine and further his experiences in our dynamic industry. 


On completing his Matric, Banoxolo Bruce Mgqaba began working at Lagoon Beach Hotel & Spa, like so many, as a cleaner. However Bruce stood out showing interest and consistent work performance. He was invited to move into the kitchen as a junior chef. After gaining a wealth of experience during his first year, he was promoted to breakfast chef. Bruce had found his career path which he was determined to grow and joined the Radisson Blu Waterfront on a temporary basis. However his potential was recognised and he was offered a permanent position as a commis chef. His drive to excel, a willingness to work hard and take on new challenges have been rewarded by his becoming a candidate for the Challenge. 

(From left to right) Angus Spurr (Food & Drinks Manager, Radisson Blu Waterfront) and Stacey Lee Roberts (Restaurant Manager), Tanya Serra and Rebecca Hurst (Principal Hurst Campus)


Our candidates will be using choice ingredients; Woodview Wagyu & Angus Beef, their creative cuts in myriad ways essentially many of them the lesser known cuts, which respond to chefs skills and knowledge on preparation. Consistently excellent Lancewood Cheese among them their soft white cheese of superb quality, Rio Largo Olive Oil and Khoisan Sea Salt.


We look forward to introducing Bio-Wheat Stone Ground Unbleached Natural Flour to the Bakers. The Fourie family have been farming in the Overberg region for decades and have a choice range, which importantly is GMO free! Heinie is committed to best farming practices by caring for the soil today. Without a doubt we have a passionate farmer with Bio-Wheat!



(Left to right) Deon Roets (Capsicum Culinary Studio) who hosted the Cook-Offs in JHB and Cape Town in great style with Anina Coetzee (Capsicum). Susina Jooste (Principal Private Hotel School) and Nicole Dupper (Imibala Culinary Academy and Restaurant) (Right)  Jayne Mayne and Karen Rutter


Capsicum Culinary Studio hosted the Regional Cook-Offs in June in Johannesburg and Cape Town while the Durban Cook-Offs were hosted at the International Hotel School.  


Our panel of top judges throughout SA is headed by 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 Culinary Olympics team) with Marieta Human (Hospitality Consultant), Craig Cormack (Innovative Celebrity Chef) and Megan Angus (Woodview Angus & Wagyu Beef). On the wine side Michelle Grimbeek (Director, Cape Wine Academy) (absent due to illness), Higgo Jacobs (Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association), Sandy Harper (CWM) and Germain Lehodey (Sommelier at Mosaic)


Wagyu, the caviar of beef - bred in Japan for hundreds of years is a national treasure. Right now, Brian Angus of Woodview is known for producing premium world class Wagyu. Interestingly, this crème de la crème beef has high concentrations of omega fatty acids, which we know has many health benefits. In addition, they farm the popular Angus in South Africa where Woodview devotes extra care to quality rather than quantity producing their beef strictly without additives or antibiotics and supplies both free range grass fed and grain fed. Great to order on-line as they supply direct. For biltong lovers this is a must! 

(Left) Beef Rib, oxtail wonton, bone marrow crumble and corn pudding presented by Marriott Crystal Towers team. Introducing Leroy Africa and Adriaan Rothman who worked with De Wet Viljoen at Neethlingshof and Scottish Leader to pair their three course menu. 


In the hospitality industry among other
areas that are pivotal is service and 
excellent service is to be applauded! 


"While still at school," Leroy Africa says, "I started work in the industry as a functions waiter at the Italian Club where at the age of fifteen I learned how to open my first wine bottle with a corkscrew. I thought I had learned everything I needed to know until I turned 18 and went to a wine farm! There I learned how wine is made and, although I can’t pronounce some of the names correctly, I became more familiar when I worked at the Southern Sun Waterfront for two and half years visiting many more wine farms and experiencing wine training with Miguel Chan. This is when I discovered I didn’t know everything, but my willingness was and is always there!  Currently, I am at Marriott Crystal Towers and have been there for three and half years as an a la carte waiter and thoroughly enjoy working with my colleagues and improving my wine expertise by continuing to visit wine farms and meeting with skilled winemakers." 


Adriaan Rothman completed his high school career in 2012 and immediately was accepted into the internship course with Protea and African Pride Hotels beginning his orientation year at the Free State Protea Hotel Clarens. The following year was spent at the Protea Hotel Bloemfontein. Later he did further training at the Capsicum Culinary Studio in Cape Town. During his second and third year he worked at the Crystal Towers, later he passed his City & Guilds and is now permanently employed at the Marriott. Adrian believes in working hard and really striving to achieve his fullest potential. What he enjoys most is going to different restaurants and sampling another style of cooking and carefully observing the plating. 


Executive Chef Shyam Longani introduces us to his candidates; Wine Steward Veronique Whitney Booysen and Chef Mathew Oliphant who worked with Nederburg and Van Ryn’s. 


Veronique Whitney Booysen learned about the hospitality industry at high school. At first it was simply a subject to pass. "I told my friends I never wanted to be in this industry!" However her first working job was at the Wimpy in Tokai and from there onto the One&Only. "My journey began in earnest at the Foundation Outsource and included working at The Table Bay as a room service waiter. I gradually moved up the ladder. In February 2015 I joined the TAJ and once again began from the bottom. Today, I have established myself as a bar waiter and yet again found myself doing something I never wanted to do and that was wines. Pearl Oliver changed all that. Now I have begun another exciting journey currently running the wine gallery at the TAJ where I am able to assist guests both local and international. 


Mathew Oliphant was obviously a young man with special skills and he decided to do food studies for four years at a skills school in his home town. That was followed by service training at the Southern Sun Cape Sun and Cape Town International Convention Centre later he joined Southern Sun Waterfront. Finally he joined the Taj where Mathew is delighted to say he was offered a permanent position and is enjoying the experience.  


Grape to Glass takes place in the Cape every year introducing the wine stewards to well known winemakers at some of Distell’s finest estates where they are given an excellent introduction from sherry to the world of spirits; fine whisky and elegant brandies. 



NH The Lord Charles Candidate Wine Steward Michelle Swart
with Executive Chef Jean-Pierre La Motte and Chef Gizelle Els 


Michelle Swart us, "It was in my orientation year of hotel management traineeship at NH The Lord Charles in 2014 that I recognized my passion to be a world class wine steward. I have been privileged to be part of our ‘Wine & Dine’ evenings on a monthly basis and have broadened my wine knowledge through exposure to these many wine estates. What intrigues me about the menus that the chefs create is the wine and food pairing. I feel working at these events are a highlight every month. I have recently completed the Cape Wine Academy South African Wine Course and would like to gain as much knowledge locally and abroad to work towards my ultimate goal, which is becoming a world class Food & Beverage Manager."


‘Cooking is like painting or writing a song just as there are only so many notes or colours there are only so many flavours. It is how you combine them that sets you apart."  Wolfgang Puck 


Gizelle Els explains, "I am a perfectionist and have a keen eye for detail and enjoy the challenge of plating the perfect plate. Cooking is an art and plates are the canvas. Having started in 2013 at NH The Lord Charles Hotel I spent the first few months in the hot kitchen where I was taught the basics and much later in the pastry kitchen, which taught the finer skills working with chocolate and baking. My goal was to work in our a la carte restaurant, ‘La Vigna’. I was delighted to have the opportunity to submit a three course menu for the Inter Hotel Challenge for the candidate chef selection eventually I was thrilled to be selected and was placed second. So I am so looking forward to taking part again this year! My goal is to become a master pastry chef, to be able to travel and broaden my culinary experience internationally.



Thembani Gaji with Executive Chef Benjamin Conradie with Fortunate Shambamuto 


Dordrecht in the Eastern Cape was where Thembani Gaji started his life. He moved to Cape Town in 2010 and began quite simply as a scullery cleaner in a small café. The owners noticed his quiet interest in food and they gave him the opportunity to train as a chef. Sadly, the café closed however he found a new post in an Italian restaurant in Bree Street as a junior Chef where he developed his love for the Italian cuisine. As one of the more recent additions to the Grootbos family, Thembani enjoys teamwork of the kitchen, the patience and willingness of the chefs to teach. Shy, quietly focused and hard working he is thrilled to be taking part in the Challenge as he wishes to use this opportunity as a huge stepping stone. What we know at Grootbos is that Thembani will undoubtedly donate his time, knowledge and experience to those more junior to him as he moves though his career.


Fortunate Shambamuto was born and raised in Harare. She began her journey with the Grootbos family in 2013 originally hired as a gate porter. Her charming personality was quickly spotted resulting in her becoming a waitress. Being multi-talented she was at the same time cooking at a local restaurant by day. When a bar position became available at Grootbos she turned her attention to becoming a bar lady fulltime and has a thirst for knowledge about wine, attending local tastings, reading various wine related sources or simply by questioning during service as the wine is ordered. She views the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge as the next positive learning opportunity in her career and hopefully she will one day be able to return to Zimbabwe and use her talents and skills to contribute to their wine industry. We are sure that her passion and charisma will serve her well throughout the Challenge. 


The Grootbos team drew Pongrácz and Black Bottle to pair their menu for the Cook-Offs in June. Fortunate met Elunda Basson in May for the Grape to Glass, a three days visit to Cape Town where all the wine stewards studied with the South African Sommeliers Association, met the cellarmasters and teams of winemakers respectively and, in addition, learned about the making of fine spirits at Van Ryn’s. In August, they will be introduced to the art of blending wine and the making of scintillating cocktails with the edgy hipster blended whisky, Black Bottle! 


The Skills Exchange Development Programme has become a special date on the calendar with international chefs, South African star chefs, and up and coming stars with Master Classes at Crown National. Top caterer Elsa van der Nest (Elsa&Co Singapore) will be joining us from Singapore - An exciting day in store for our aspiring chefs!


We are delighted to announce that La Vie de Luc has joined us and we are looking forward to hearing more about the background of this nationally known spring water with its origin from a pristine source high up in the mountains surrounding Franschhoek. 


For La Vie de Luc water is nature’s gift and it is our commitment at La Vie to get the benefit of what nature provides as our water has an unequaled mineral composition, soft fresh and palatable. 


Today, our sommeliers and wine stewards need to know what to look for in a spring water and how to distinguish the excellent from the ordinaire! Water is the perfect partnership for wines and where applicable spirits. La Vie de Luc with its gentle palatable taste is what a water should be without a strong minerality that changes the taste considerably of the accompanying wine. 


In Gauteng Liesel gave the fortunate candidates the A-Z of coffee lore at the Orientation at UJ. A fascinating journey and one that Liesel has extensively explored. Avanti Coffee has been the great comforter throughout each and every occasion when our candidates arrived at sparrows chirp and there it was the perfect cup; hot and consistently delicious with the most competent barristers. 


The Kerzner Hospitality Centre is an excellent conference facility where we were warmly welcomed for our Orientation in Gauteng, arranged superbly and efficiently by Ashleigh Christie of the Hospitality Property Fund.



Michelle Grimbeek, Director Cape Wine Academy - leaders in wine and hospitality education, invited Chris de Klerk of Distell to present the CWA Introductory Course to our wine steward candidates in Gauteng, Karen Bloom in KwaZulu-Natal at the Durban ICC and Wanda Cronje in Cape Town at the Southern Sun Waterfront at the Orientations. Michelle has been extremely thoughtful and generous in presenting this course and excellent bursaries to our winners. 


Executive Chef Juan Neethling with his young team Siyasanga Mhe and Litha Salimani representing the Southern Sun Waterfront pairing with Durbanville Hills and Monis 

Butterworth in the Eastern Cape was where Siyasanga Mhe grew up. After finishing school he moved to Cape Town where he is currently studying towards a B Comm. Marketing. In order to fund his studies he joined the hospitality industry as a waiter and is enjoying being a part of this dynamic industry, particularly interacting with customers from all walks of life and cultures. His ambition is to develop and become a manager in the corporate sector. Siya is happy and excited to participate in the Inter Hotel Challenge and looking forward to measuring himself again the best in the industry.


Litha Salimani was born in 1988 and grew up in the Eastern Cape. His grandmother raised him and the rule in their house was that the eldest sibling must cook. This is where he discovered his passion for cooking and later decided to study hospitality. He completed his studies at False Bay College and was fortunate to be placed as a trainee chef at Southern Sun Waterfront in 2003. After only 18 months, Litha was appointed as a Commis Chef and used the 2 years in that position to work in every section of the kitchen so that he could learn as much as possible and improve his skills. After 2 years, he was promoted to Chef de Partie and has never looked back. His years at the hotel have been a wonderful journey of learning and he is looking forward to the future, all while continuing to learn and grow. 



Roasted White Chocolate and honey, Rio Largo olive oil sponge with Avanti coffee and Khoisan salted butterscotch macaroon. Delicious dessert presented by Juan Neethling of Southern Sun Waterfront. 


Rio Largo Estate is home to one of South Africa’s finest olive oils. Brenda has become a most enthusiastic ambassador and is spreading the word about the superb extra virgin olive oil being produced locally! 




Viva Titus (Lancewood), Dr Tshinakaho Nyathela (Senior Lecturer at the Cape Town Hotel School, CPUT) and (Right) Elmien Fourie of Lancewood


Today, award-winning cheese maker, Lancewood, is without doubt producing South Africa’s finest cheese including most divine soft white cheese. Their cream cheese range and creative dips are a winner while cultured cream (crème fraîche) and mascarpone are consistently superb.


Lancewood is proud to offer a thoughtfully chosen prize for the top dessert in this year’s challenge. The winner will be announced at the celebratory awards dinner at the Southern Sun Cape Sun, Saturday 5th August. Executive Chef Alfred Henry and his excellent Tsogo Sun brigade will be producing an array of exquisite desserts - all chosen from among those submitted for the Challenge! 


The 2016 winning Chef, Rucita Naidoo representing Beverly Hills, Nederburg & Van Ryn’s, has just jetted off to the Michelin starred Radisson Blu Alcron in Prague for a brilliant opportunity of a three-week working visit. One week in the hot kitchen, one week in the cold kitchen and one week in the patisserie section. Return flights have been generously provided by Distell. We are looking forward to hearing about Rucita’s trip and to perhaps having a taste of their exquisite patisserie which Prague is known for!



The 2017 winning Candidate Chef will enjoy a brilliant opportunity of a three-week visit to Dubai. A week at The Marriott Ritz-Carlton Hotel and two at their flagship JW Marriott Marquis where he or she will experience fine dining and large scale catering.







The 2017 winning Candidate Wine Steward will look forward to a brilliant travel experience with Distell including London, a two day stay at the superb The Montague on the Gardens -  Red Carnation working closely with the 67 Pall Mall sommelier team - the most exclusive wine club in the heart of St James then travel to Scotland with visits to top distilleries; Deanston and Bunnahabhain. 

On the itinerary; France, Bisquit in stunning Cognac and an introduction to a world of wines in Bordeaux at La Cité du Vin! 

The winner will be awarded with a top bursary from the Cape Wine Academy and Level One from the South African Sommeliers Association and has 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.

Superb iconic kitchen appliances from KitchenAid SAScanPan Cookware and Global Knives from AL&CD Ashley 

Meaningful bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy, Hospitality Property Fund, the International Hotel School and cash prizes from Avanti 

In addition, delectable Lancewood Cheese for the ‘Best Dessert!’, Von Geusau Chocolates, elegant Riedel glassware and books for life from Struik Lifestyle.


Good luck to all our candidates of 2017!  



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