South African fruit growers relaunch young chef competition in the UK

COOKSA

NIKOLETA
2019 competition winner Nikoleta Theofylaktidou
The eighth South African Young Chef of the Year has been relaunched with new competition requirements.

Deciduous fruit growers Hortgro have asked young UK chefs to submit one main course showcasing South African stone fruit. Six finalists will then experience a masterclass at London’s High Timber, followed by a cook-off final. The final requires the young chefs to cook the main course they submitted and create a starter or dessert from a mystery box showcasing South African top fruit.

Created by London’s most experienced South African restaurateurs; Stellenbosch’s most awarded wine estate and one of London’s most prominent up and coming chefs – High Timber offers modern dining with a South African touch.

The winner will travel to Franschhoek, South Africa, and join celebrity chef, Reuben Riffel and John Norris-Rogers, Head Chef at La Petite Colombe for a week’s split stage.

Reuben Riffel is a South African celebrity chef, restaurateur, and media personality known for his food-focused television shows and advertisements, cookbooks and philanthropic work. La Colombe has consistently received world-wide acclaim and is positioned amongst the top restaurants in the world. Visitors to its sister restaurant – La Petite Colombe – can look forward to experiencing the same level of service excellence and exquisite cuisine that has put La Colombe on the map.

The winner will be fully involved in running two award-winning restaurants, gain a deeper understanding of how each operation works, and develop their knowledge of South African fine dining.

“When I found out about the competition I knew I wanted to take part, because South African cuisine isn’t something I’ve experienced," 2019 competition winner, Nikoleta Theofylaktidou, said. "I learnt so much about how ethical and high quality the country’s produce is, as well as developing my knowledge of new flavours and techniques.”

Hortgro run the South African Young Chef of the Year competition to raise awareness of the use of South African fruit as chefs’ ingredients, and highlighting the part fruit farming has played in the development of South Africa and its rural communities in the past 20 years. The competition is part of an ongoing campaign to promote fresh produce from South Africa, including the flavour and season of its fruits and the positive ethical reasons for buying fruit from South African farmers.

The closing date for South African Young Chef of the Year is 18 February.
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