The Unilever Chef of the Year competition, attracted entries from some of the most promising junior, senior and ethnic chefs in the country. The standard of entry in all three categories was exceptionally high
The Junior Chef of the Year was won by Jodi-Ann Palmer of Nandos International, Johannesburg, who walked away with R6 000, with second place and R4 000 going to Brent Mossop of Le Franschhoek Hotel, Cape Town and the third prize of R2 000 being scooped by Nkosikhona Manqele of Riverside Hotel, Durban.
The category of Ethnic Chef of the Year was won by Nerita Bharuth of Fedics Grand West Casino, Cape Town with Thembelihle Ngotho of Murata Catering, Durban coming second and Mario Sebia of Stonehill Restaurant, Cape Town taking third place. The winner walked away with R6 000, second prize was R4 000 and third prize R2 000
In the Senior category, Bertus Basson of All Things Culinary, Cape Town took first place, a R10 000 cash prize and the overall title of Unilever Foodsolutions Chef of the Year 2007.
Candice-Ann Phillip of the Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg was placed second, winning R6 000, and Albert van der Loo of Suncoast Casino in Durban came third, winning R4 000.
The finalists in each of the three categories were given a mystery basket of compulsory ingredients which they had to use to create a three course menu. A community table of various other standard and fresh ingredients was also supplied.
Contestants had half an hour to create their menus after being given their ingredients, and then only three hours to cook their dishes before presenting to the South African Chefs Associated accredited judges.
Head judge for all three categories was Jeff Schueremans, local competitions director of the South African Chefs Association, and the kitchen judge was Garth Shnier, international competitions director of the South African Chefs Association.