The aim of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is to encourage development in the hospitality industry that will give a much-needed leg up to young talent.
The second annual Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge, sponsored by Cape Legends fine wines, is now national with 21 hotels from the Cape to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on board.
A multi-faceted initiative, which took place over a six months period where regional cook-offs and finals took place. Candidate chefs produced an excellent three course menu, under the wing of their executive chefs while the wine stewards chose wines to pair with the dishes. During this time wine stewards, sommeliers and winemakers forged new relationships and shared their knowledge and passion at the ‘Grape to Glass’ experience, which took place at the Cape Legends wine estates.
"In South Africa we are blessed to have incredible human resources as well as outstanding wines," said Ross Sleet, marketing director of Cape Legends. "For Cape Legends, it's particularly gratifying to be part of the education and training of these determined young wine candidates, as they strive to reach the highest level of professionalism, which creates a great feeling of unity amongst all those who participate."
In Gauteng; 54 on Bath (Tsogo Sun) partnered with Durbanville Hills, Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton & Fleur du Cap; Radisson Blu Gautrain & Plaisir de Merle; Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton & Neethlingshof and The Michelangelo with Lomond.
KwaZulu-Natal; Beverly Hills & Lomond, Hilton Durban & Durbanville Hills, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani (Tsogo Sun) & Fleur du Cap, The Oyster Box & Neethlingshof and Zimbali & Zonnebloem.
Cape Town; Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel & Durbanville Hills, Birkenhead House & Neethlingshof, Bushmans Kloof Wilderness & Wellness Retreat, Cape Grace & Alto, One&Only, Cape Town & Pongrácz, Queen Victoria & Fleur du Cap, Radisson Blu, Waterfront & Plaisir de Merle, Southern Sun The Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront (Tsogo Sun) & Le Bonheur, Taj & Lomond, The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa with Stellenzicht and Vineyard Hotel & Zonnebloem.
Talent, creativity, skill and enthusiasm are what our candidate chefs and wine stewards brought to their splendid entries, which was judged by panels of highly respected food and wine professionals, lead by Paul Hartmann of South African Chefs Academy and Chris de Klerk of Cape Legends.
These seminal cook-offs took place in June in Johannesburg at HTA School of Culinary Art, in KwaZulu-Natal at The International Hotel School and in Cape Town South African Chefs Academy. Abuzz from 07h00 in the morning, the excitement was tangible.
“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, Rio Largo Olive Oil and Khoisan Sea Salt.
First two weeks of July, the hotels showcased their creative competition menus offering them to members of the public and press. Each hotel put their best foot forward in great style. The events proved to be memorable occasions with donations to StreetSmart SA
The initiative culminated in a glittering shades of gold awards celebration attended by Minister of SA Tourism Derek Hanekom at the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel, Friday 25th July 2014. Individual hotels conceptualized table settings. The top three were:
The winning chef Zwelithini Tshuma Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel & Plaisir de Merle has won a three weeks stay at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai where he will be introduced to the varied cultures and myriad tastes of India in their superb restaurants with return flights provided by Cape Legends.
The winning wine steward Prince Mabena Southern Sun Hyde Park (Tsogo Sun) & Neethlingshof will journey to three of Tsogo Sun’s prestigious hotels and restaurants in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, accompanied by their top sommelier for a week.
Generous practical prizes and bursaries were awarded by Kitchen Aid, Cape Wine Academy in excess of R35 000 and a R15 000 Hospitality Property Fund award for the most promising chef. The Newmark Award provided generous cash prizes totaling R15 000.
ALL THE AWARDS:
1st Zwelithini Tshuma Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel and Plaisir de Merle
2nd Thokozani Mpungose Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani (Tsogo Sun) & Fleur du Cap
3rd Marcelino Solomons Queen Victoria (Newmark Hotels Waterfront) & Fleur du Cap
“Most promising Candidate Chef”
Bradley Harry Southern Sun The Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront (Tsogo Sun) & Le Bonheur
WINE STEWARD CATEGORY
1st Prince Mabena Southern Sun Hyde Park (Tsogo Sun) and Neethlingshof
2nd Brian Braite Nhlanhla Mahlangu The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Stellenzicht
3rd Ndaba Dube Vineyard Hotel & Zonnebloem
South African Sommeliers Association Award for the most “Up & Coming Wine Steward”
Mercy Mwai One&Only, Cape Town & Pongrácz
A tie between Southern Sun, The Cullinan and Southern Sun Waterfront (Tsogo Sun) and Taj, Cape Town.
Winning a floating trophy designed by sculptor Rado Kirov from Dr Susanne Reuther of KitchenAid SA and dinner.
54 on Bath (Tsogo Sun)
The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa
Queen Victoria (Newmark Hotels Waterfront)
Protea Hotel Balalaika, Sandton
Winning hand labeled private collection Stellenzicht wine from Winemaker Guy Webber
Cape Grace, winning KitchenAid Mixers (domestic & commercial)
‘Most Glamorous Table’ - The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Stellenzicht
‘Table most want to dine at’ - Birkenhead House and Neethlingshof
‘Table that reflects the ethos of the hotel’ - Southern Sun The Cullinan and
Southern Sun Waterfront (Tsogo Sun) with Le Bonheur