An elegant gala finale was held aboard the SA Agulhas II on Wednesday, August 29, where the top eight finalists from the original participating 27 restaurants had a last chance to impress a panel of judges – chef and food stylist Justine Drake, CapeTalk’s John Maytham and Food24 editor Caro de Waal.
All dishes entered into the Master of the Trade Routes culinary
challenge were inspired by the vibrant and diverse flavours representing
South Africa’s roots from Dutch to Chinese, Indian to Italian,
Portuguese to Malay and French to British, paying homage to the V&A
Invited guests tried the specially-created dishes presented by the eight finalists:
- Queen Victoria Hotel’s Dash Restaurant
- Reuben’s at the One&Only
- Den Anker
- The Grand Beach
- Harbour House
- Willoughby’s & Co,
But it was the deconstructed springbok bobotie from Signal which found the most favour with the judges.
The dish had remained 'true to the brief of the historical trade route era, while at the same time delivered excellent value for money', said Justine. Anything that offers good value gets a big tick in our book. Dash Restaurant at the Queen Victoria was the runner-up, with a seared magret duck breast on a spiced Elgin pear purée.
People’s Choice Award
Almost 6 000 votes were cast by visitors who tried the fusion dishes at participating restaurants. These votes were tallied and the dish which found the most public favour was Sevruga’s miso-marinated kingklip with garlic and ginger emulsion, winning the People’s Choice Award, with 2 350 votes.
The V&A Waterfront’s Executive Manager of Strategic Marketing, Chantelle Cole, said the response to the Master of the Trade Routes had been phenomenal and that another culinary challenge was planned for winter 2013.
We cannot wait!