The Cape's top culinary academies have once again put forward their finest young stars to compete for top honours in the One&Only Reaching for Young Stars competition. Hosted by Capsicum Culinary Studio in Cape Town, the 11 academies teamed up with 11 top hotels in a high-energy cook-off, with 11 wineries pairing with their creative menus using certified Karoo lamb, Witlof, Bio-Wheat, Lancewood, Rio Largo olive oil, Khoisan sea salt with La Vie de Luc and Avanti coffee.
The cook-off was judged by Reuben Riffel and a panel of eleven food and wine luminaries in the hospitality industry, which included Aubrey Ngcungama, Carolyn Miller-Krogh, Craig Hibbert, Horst Frehse, Julietta é Silva, Luvo Ntezo, Marieta Human, Mariëtte Crafford, Marlvin Gwese and Penelope Horwood.
Competing academies included; The Private Hotel School (teamed with Radisson Blu Waterfront and Boschendal); Eziko Cooking & Training Centre (Cape Grace and Hill&Dale); The Hurst Campus (Marriott Crystal Towers & Neethlingshof); The Imibala Cookery Kitchen (NH The Lord Charles and Anthonij Rupert Wyne); International Hotel School (Belmond Mount Nelson and Bellingham); Capsicum Culinary Studio (Southern Sun Waterfront and Krone); Silwood School of Cookery (The Westin & Spier Wines); Cape Town Hotel School (Southern Sun Cape Sun & Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards); Infinity Culinary Training (The Vineyard Hotel and Douglas Green Sherry); Amy Foundation (The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Linton Park) and Sense of Taste Chef School (Sun International Table Bay and Reyneke Organic Wines), Partners of Showcook, Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith.
Building platforms for opportunity
The organisers and founders of both the One&Only Reaching for Young Stars competition and the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge programme, believe it is essential to build platforms that will provide opportunities that encourage hotels, restaurants and other members of the hospitality industry to nurture young talent and carry the banner further.
“The hotel industry is the heartbeat of tourism. It is essential that we maintain the high standards however we have to make sure those same high standards are maintained going into the future. In order to ensure that, we need to have a strong and sustained skill and upliftment programme where our young talent is mentored and given the opportunity to grow,” says Kesler.
Winners in the chef category included:
Bio-Wheat Best Baker
• Winner – Brode Gleeson from Silwood School of Cookery
• Second place – Lorna Mnisi from Eziko Cooking & Training Centre
• Third place – Wendy Chiringa from Sense of Taste Chef School
Duo of chefs
• Winner – Rebecca Odendaal and Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus
• Second place – Kristin Reagon and Jarryd Macleod Smith from The Sense of Taste Chef School
• Third place – Tsoanelo Mosia and Layla Morris from The Private Hotel School
• Best Witlof Starter – Rebecca Odendaal and Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus
• Best Main Course with certified Karoo lamb – Kristin Reagon and Jarryd Macleod Smith from The Sense of Taste Chef School
• Lancewood Best Dessert – Cerise Petersen and Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio
• ScanPan Best Kitchen Practice – Cerise Petersen and Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio
Food and wine pairing
• Winner – Charlton de Ruiter and Dae-Myung Kim from Silwood School of Cookery with winemaker Johan Jordaan of Spier Wines
• Second place – Rebecca Odendaal & Nicola Swart from The Hurst Campus with Wine Steward's Luvuyo Tshazibane and winemaker DeWet Viljoen of Neethlingshof
• Third place – Cerise Petersen and Kaylin Kammies from Capsicum Culinary Studio with Wine Steward's Carlos Picarra from the International Hotel School and winemaker Stephen de Beer of Krone
Winners in the wine steward catergory include:
• Winner – Bianca Schonauer from The Private Hotel School with Boschendal
• Lanel Marais from The Private Hotel School with DGB Sherry
• Carlos Picarra from the International Hotel School with KronePrizes include kitchenware from KitchenAid Africa; Scanpan and AL&CD Ashley; a five-month working experience for four chefs in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at Winslow’s Tavern with fellow South Africans, Chef Patron Phillip and Tracey Hunt, as well as two weeks working experience with Reuben Riffel at his new restaurant Reuben’s Restaurant & Bar in Franschhoek. A three-week stint with Scot Kirton and James Gaag at La Colombe and La Petite Colombe; weekend for two at Corbelled House on the farm, Stuurmansfontein in the Karoo, books from Penguin Randon House, the coveted Platter’s SA Wine Guide 2018 and prizes from Geusau Chocolates.