Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Presentation of the “Chefs who Share - Young Chefs Award” finalists at the Taj Hotel

"All you need is a spoonful of passion & a dash of creativity to succeed", says young chefs' ambassador, Lentswe Bhengu
To enter this competition, each of the up-and-coming  chefs had to create an innovative canapé which was served, together with a glass of Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, as a culinary highlight at the "Chefs Who Share" gala evening held last week. The function raised R2 million for charity.  The money was collected from ticket sales and from an auction at the banquet.
Seven young chefs reached the final of this competition. We met them all at The Reserve venue at The Taj Cape Town and tasted those excellent canapés. These seven come from 47 talented and promising young chefs (aged between 18 and 29 and working in positions ranging from demi chef to junior sous chef) invited from the country's 75 top restaurants and each of the seven finalists spent two days in the kitchen of a top chef helping to prepare for the Chefs Who Share banquet. These will be the chefs of the future. The winner, with her pink peppercorn and duck liver paté macaroon with candied apples was Jamie-Lee Saunders (Red Indigo Restaurant@Grootbos)

The event was held in The Member's Bar at The Reserve venue at The Taj
Swiss chef and Swiss International Air Lines brand ambassador, Reto Mathis, who acted as International Patron, being interviewed by Chris von Ulmenstein
Chef Reto Mathis, Danica Helfrich, Head of Swiss International Air Lines South Africa, and Lentswe Bhengu with founders of Chefs Who Share, Barbara Lenhard and Florian Gast, publishers of Opulent Living magazine

Waiting for the canapés to arrive
Lots of wine was poured, donated by Graham Beck
The South African Ambassador of the "Chefs Who Share", Lentswe Bhengu, announcing the chefs and their canapés
Lots of media attending
Executive Assistant Manager, F&B at The Taj Cape Town, Willem du Toit
Barbara Lenhard tells us about the competition and the chefs who have entered. The winner's prize includes a culinary trip to Europe, courtesy of "Chefs Who Share" and flights sponsored by Swiss International Air Lines. The winner will spend several days cooking in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Germany before visiting the Moët & Chandon headquarters in Épernay, in the heart of France’s Champagne region. The prize includes being hosted by the Champagne house overnight and being presented with a VIP tour of the Maison, as well as the opportunity to participate in a workshop with a member of the Moët & Chandon winemaking committee and a resident chef
The event was recorded on film and TV. Sue-Ann Allen and Jon Meinking in attendance
Barbara Lenhard, with Lentswe Bhengu and Tracey Younghusband, describes the competition and the prize
An award goes to each young chef
Judge Tracey Younghusband talking about the competition
and with a canapé prepared by one of the young chefs
The canapés appear for us to taste. This is Germaine Esau's (Makaron @ Majeka House) Canapé entry: ‘Beef in the vines under African skies’
Anand Bhana (Hartford House) Canapé entry: ‘Ocean Adventure’. Smoked salmon with a molecular gastronomy sphere of cucumber and apple juice served on a seaweed crisp. Very innovative and one of our favourites
Ludwig van Biljon (Indochine @ Delaire Graff Estate), Canapé entry: ‘Singaporean Laksa panna cotta’
Edna Visser (The Restaurant at Waterkloof)Canapé entry: ‘The land, the sea & the sky’. A dry digestive style walnut biscuit topped with mayonnaise, a piece of raw scallop and micro greens
Etienne Wessels (Bosman’s Restaurant @ Grande Roche) Canapé entry: ‘Motion of the ocean’ Very innovative puffed wheat and seaweed cracker that melted in the mouth; wrapped around a fresh raw oyster, some calamari and dots of wonderful flavours. It did indeed taste of the sea
The winning macaroon Jamie-Lee Saunders (Red Indigo Restaurant@Grootbos) Canapé entry: ‘Pink peppercorn macaroon with duck liver pâté and candied apples’. We found the pink peppercorns to be rather strong
Marisa Botes (Pierneef à la Motte) Canapé entry: ‘Small & In-between’. A mini Baumkuchen made of micro thin layers of melting pancakes, filled with a butternut crème and topped with beetroot done 3 ways. We voted this our winner
The assembled chefs then received their envelopes telling them which of the top chefs they would be cooking with over the next two days. This is the list:
‘Chefs who share’ Chef Teams 2015
Team 1
Christo Pretorius, Azure at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Virgil Kahn, Indochine at Delaire Graff
Gregory Mutambe, Head Sommelier at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa
Marisa Botes (Pierneef à la Motte)
Team 2
Malika van Reenen, Signal at Cape Grace
Gregory Czarnecki, Waterkloof Estate Restaurant
Neil Grant, ex-Sommelier Rust en Vrede, owner of Burrata, Bocca and Open Door restaurants
Anand Bhana (Hartford House)
Team 3
Rudi Liebenberg, Planet Restaurant at Belmond Mount Nelson
Marthinus Ferreira, DW Eleven-13
Pearl Oliver, Sommelier, Planet Restaurant at Belmond Mount Nelson
Ludwig van Biljon (Indochine @ Delaire Graff Estate)
Team 4
Michelle Theron, Pierneef à La Motte
Bertus Basson, Overture Restaurant
Manuel Cabello, Head Sommelier, Ellerman House
Etienne Wessels (Bosman’s Restaurant @ Grande Roche)
Team 5
Garth Almazan, Catharina’s at Steenberg
Darren Badenhorst, The Restaurant at Grande Provence
Higgo Jacobs, independent wine consultant
Germaine Esau (Makaron @ Majeka House)
Team 6
Scot Kirton, La Colombe, Silvermist Wine Estate
Chantel Dartnall, Mosaic at The Orient Boutique Hotel
Germain Lehodey, Sommelier at Mosaic at The Orient Boutique Hotel
Jamie-Lee Saunders (Red Indigo Restaurant@Grootbos) – WINNER
Team 7
Chris Erasmus, Foliage
Jürgen Schneider, Springfontein Eats at Springfontein Wine Estate
Hansi Blackadder, Portfolio Manager at Vinovation
Edna Visser (The Restaurant at Waterkloof)
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2015

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