Hands-on mentorship builds passionate chefs

Thursday, 14 May, 2015
Cape Legends
Qualified mentorship, focused staff development, and career path mapping have become an imperative for retaining good culinary talent in South Africa’s competitive hospitality sector, which like most sectors faces a skills shortage.

“Passion and talent for culinary art must be quickly identified, skills constantly nurtured, and performance and innovation acknowledged through effective employee development programmes. This is especially important in the five-star environment. Employees should also be given opportunities to showcase theirtalent and innovation on external platforms which recognize and reward innovation in the culinary field. People should be given a chance to shine,” says Sherwin Banda, the General Manager at The Table Bay.

He explains that people development is considered on an individual basis at The Table Bay to ensure that each person’s needs are addressed and individual career paths can be mapped based on what they want to achieve. Employees are provided learning and further training opportunities through various skillsdevelopment programmes. However, it is through the mentorship and on-the-job training so enthusiastically offered by the hotel’s senior chefs staff that culinary teams benefit most meaningfully.

“There is no replacement for hands-on mentoring, especially with food and beverage.. Our employees really start to shine when they are working with people they respect, people they can learn from, people who really care about helping them achieve their dreams. It is that glimmer in their eyes which says it all,” says Banda.

According to Banda, the hotel’s esteemed Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams is currently mentoring Chef Aphelele Dlungana through his participation in the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge 2015. The hotel’s Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Hilton Ruch, is mentoring Sergio Thysse on the wine steward element.

The Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is one of the hospitality industry’s major showcases of food and wine pairing, sponsored by Cape Legends Fine Wines. The multi-faceted Challenge pairs chef and wine steward trainees from top hotels, under the guidance of the executive chefs and sommeliers, with the expertise of winemakers from leading Cape Legend wine estates. Since its inception, it has become recognized as a platform for highlighting the talent and expertise of trainees, and giving them an opportunity to shine. The Table Bay’s team is now gearing-up for the regional cook-offs in June.

“Our participation in the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge forms part of our commitment to uplifting, training, mentoring, and nurturing our people. We are extremely excited to see what our team comes up with for the cook-off,” says Banda.

Banda concludes: “In the culinary field, which has sadly become shrouded by a lack of passion, we know that we must hold on to the exceptional people working magic in our kitchens.”

“We consider our people to be our most important asset, and understand that we need to continually invest in them to ensure that they reach their fullest potential, and feel fulfilled and appreciated.

Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams and Chef Aphelele Dlungana.
Executive Chef Jocelyn Myers-Adams and Chef Aphelele Dlungana.

Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Hilton Ruch and Sergio Thysse
Assistant Food and Beverage Manager, Hilton Ruch and Sergio Thysse

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