Launching 2016 Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge

Wednesday, 13 April, 2016
Showcook.com
This is the 4th year of the Inter Hotel Challenge, run by showcook.com

"In South Africa, we have abundant potential, young talent and excellent wines and pairing these to create opportunities for growth was our inspiration behind the Challenge,” says Carina Gous of Cape Legends, Distell's global marketing brand director: luxury wines and spirits, whose portfolio includes the specialty Cape Legends collection of wines.

"Not only does the Challenge encourage a culture of mentorship and promote skills development in the hospitality industry, it also has all the exciting elements of a great competition. It's fun as well as life-changing for the participants, who are exposed to the highest level of professionalism. It also gives a mutual boost to the wine and hospitality industries, which are both looking to identify and groom tomorrow's great sommeliers.

This is our fourth year of support for the initiative and we are enormously proud of our association. It's our way of giving back to the hospitality industry, of nurturing young talent, building skills and developing ambassadors for South African wine.
 
The Challenge has been an exciting and important platform for people with potential and drive who want to hone their skills and advance their careers.  One of the best examples is Tinashe Nyamudoka, a former winning wine steward, who is now the sommelier at The Test Kitchen, one of South Africa's most celebrated restaurants."
 
Creativity and enthusiasm is what our candidate chefs and wine stewards will be bringing to their entry. The Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge has seen the growth extending from the Cape to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal with 23 top hotels on board.

Each of the hotels will be paired with an exquisite wine estate either Allesverloren, Alto, Durbanville Hills, Fleur Du Cap, Le Bonheur, Lomond, Nederburg, Neethlingshof, Plaisir de Merle, Pongrácz, Stellenzicht, Uitkyk or Zonnebloem. 

And in addition, a number of Distell’s spirit brands will participate; Bain’s * Bisquit * Black Bottle * Bunnahabhain * Scottish Leader * Monis* Van Ryn’s

Three launches are taking place with our stunning Cape Town based hotels; the first at The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa with Belmond Mount Nelson, Radisson Blu Le Vendome, Taj Cape Town and The Westin, at Arabella Hotel & Spa with Grootbos and NH Lord Charles the final being at the Sun International’s celebrated Table Bay Hotel with Cape Grace, The CTICC, One&Only Cape Town, Southern Sun The Cullinan and the Vineyard, while in Gauteng, the alfresco launch lunch at The Maslow with 54 on Bath, Protea Hotel Balalaika, Southern Sun Hyde Park and The Palazzo. The Durban launch took place at The Protea Hotel Edward with Beverly Hills, Hartford House and Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani. All of them have really put their best foot forward and have made sure that the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge has been launched with great style, exquisite food and enviable service. Hats off to all the teams that have created these memorable occasions.

To complement the launches, essentially the core of the competition, Orientations with excellent life coaches and presentations to our candidates by a number of top speakers who have provided them with much inspiration for the future, among them Lorne Sulcaswho imparted superb lessons from the bush and Jenny Handley of JHP Performance Management. Once again our hotels and their Executive Chefsof Tsogo Sun; Southern Sun TheCullinan (Cape Town), 54 on Bath (JHB) and Beverly Hills (KZN) have done the challenge proud presenting pork in the most stunning dishes, including Lancewood, Rio Largo olive oil and Khoisan Sea salt proving that South African standards are hugely high, setting the bar.

The hotel industry is playing a largely unsung role in training, upliftment and nurturing. What the challenge has done over the past three years is to provide the opportunity, goals and inspiration, an ideal platform to grow careers.

It is timely to say we are not a competition in the accepted sense of the word rather we create a space with the valued assistance of Cape Legends, the fine wine arm of Distell. What we can do for each other is to use this collective energy, which will have a huge ripple effect on our Tourism Industry, one of our most dynamic growth areas. In South Africa culinary tourism is growing dramatically.

Deputy Minister South African Tourism Tokozile Xasa, “While I cannot be with you today, I share in your excitement at the launch of another season of this wonderful initiative.
This competition acknowledges the talents of some of SA's most creative and promising young chefs and winestewards while at the same time recognising the crucial role of mentorship in the industry. Indeed, it has gained momentum and has fast become well known and well respected in the industry. We boast a strong industry and I want to assure you that we as government listen to you. Our Department will work hand in hand with you to realise our greater objective of growing this dynamic sector.

I have had the pleasure of being part of a number of previous events and am appreciative of the commitment of industry.  I wish to thank you for this and continue to pledge my support. Thank you for your role in better positioning SA for economic growth, skills development, job creation, investment potential and ultimately a destination of choice. A very special thank you to Annette and her amazing team for driving this initiative.  May it only grow from strength to strength."

This year our team of erudite judges headed this year by Heinz Brunner (Honorary Lifetime President of the South African Chefs Association and past Vice-Chairman of the World Body of Chefs and currently training the SA Culinary Team for the Olympics), Marieta Human (Nutritionist representing South African Pork) and Alan Romburgh, both with many years of rich experience. On the wine side Higgo Jacobs (South African Sommeliers Association), Sandy Harper (CWM) and Germain Lehodey (Sommelier)

“What all our judges share is the depth of knowledge that many years of practice in the industry have imparted,” says Annette Kesler

We are happy to announce that StreetSmart SA will be the recipient of funds raised during the StreetSmart SA Wine& Dine Week, 4th - 10th July as each hotel will decide and use their creative energies to put together their candidate’s menu, showcased to the public in their own style. We hope that this will raise much needed funds, put together and presented to StreetSmartSA at the Belmond Mount Nelson at the awards dinner on Friday 29th July.
 
Melanie Burke, chairman of StreetSmart SA says, “We are delighted to be a beneficiary of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge because it is an amazing development initiative. At the same time we are able to strengthen our relationship with our main partners, the restaurants whose diners raise funds for StreetSmart SA.”

Hotels will be at their most creative in shades of a ‘Platinum & Pearls’ vying for ‘The most glamorous table’, the table you would most ‘Wish to dine at’ and one that ‘Reflects the ethos of the hotel’. This is an area that is a fabulous showstopper and a showcase for SA’s finest. All will be revealed on the night of Friday 29th July at the Belmond Mount Nelson where General Manager Xavier Lablaude will be host the awards evening with all the participating hotels.

Our 2016 Candidate Chef prizewinner will be traveling to the Czech Republic, The Radisson Blu Alcron in Prague. Their on-site Alcron Restaurant is a proud winner of the Michelin Star from 2012 – 2015. We are grateful to Carlson Rezidor for providing this superb prize. A week in the hot kitchen, another in the cold kitchen and a week in patisserie, including accommodation and all expenses! The silver bird will be provided by Cape Legends.

This is a year for tremendous growth, both culturally and educationally for the winning Wine Steward. Distell and their amazing global reach has provided an international prize of note. “An opportunity to learn about whisky, brandy and cognac in London, Scotland and France where they will be visiting Bisquit, ” says Lize-Marie Gradwell Global Marketing Manager Cape Legends.“So the winners will travel and enjoy the most invaluable experience!”

The exciting Cook-Offs will take place in June at the International Hotel School in JHB and Cape Town and Unilever Kitchens in KZN, where both Candidate Chefs and Wine Stewards will compete, preparing a three-course menu paired with Cape Legends fine wines and spirits. South African Pork, Lancewood White Cheese, Rio Largo Olive Oil, and hand-harvested Khoisan sea salt will feature in the menu. All of whom share the important values of excellence, quality and consistency. This initiative would not be possible without each and every one them.
 
KitchenAid will be hosting The Skills Exchange Development Programme, Thursday 28th July,a most valuable exchange of creativity - an inspiration to all.

The finest iconic KitchenAid mixer will be awarded to the winning Chef and exciting KitchenAid appliances to second and third. In addition, hampers of indispensible culinary KitchenAid accessories will be awarded to all the participants of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge; Candidate Chefs, their Assistants and Candidate Wine Stewards.

An enviable prize is ‘The Best Team Award’, a stunning floating trophy generously sponsored by KitchenAid SA. In addition KitchenAid is awarding the ‘Best Bread’ prize; previously won by Belmond Mount Nelson (2013), Cape Grace (2014) and Belmond Mount Nelson (2015). A commercial mixer for the hotel and a domestic model for the baker!

Awards for:
‘Table you would most wish to dine at’, ‘Most glamorous table’, ‘Table that best reflects the ethos of the hotel’, ‘Best Team’, ‘Best Bread’, ‘Most Up & Coming Wine Steward’, ‘Top Regional Wine Steward’ (3), ‘Best Wine Steward’ (1st, 2nd & 3rd), ‘ ‘ScanPan Excellent Kitchen Practice’, ‘Most Creative Chef’, ‘The Purple Ribbon Award for the Best Pork Dish’, ‘Rio Largo Top Woman Cook for Meticulous Presentation’, ‘Lancewood Best Dessert’, ‘Most Promising Candidate Chef’’, ‘Best Candidate Chef’ (1st, 2nd & 3rd).

Prizes include generous bursaries, which have helped to shape careers by the Cape Wine Academy for our top three winning Candidate Wine Stewards plus the ‘Most Up & Coming’, which they share with the South African Sommeliers Association.

The top regional Wine Stewards will each receive a Level Two training course from The South African Sommeliers Association - SASA.

The overall winning Wine Steward will receive the Level Three - SASA Advanced Sommelier training and examination – this will be implemented in 2017 in conjunction with the ASI Diploma. These SASA courses will occur in Cape Town, Cape Legends will transport the winners to the Cape for the training.
 
Special thanks to Dragonfly Africa, one of Southern Africa’s leading destination management companies operating in 10 Southern and Eastern African countries offering memorable African adventures and travel experiences, and to Globe Lotter in the Cape.  

A SHOWCOOK initiative
Issued by: Showcook.com
Please contact: Chania Morritt-Smith (Managing Editor) chania@showcook.co.za or cell: 079 113 8329
Follow on Twitter @showcookcom @CapeLegends Inter Hotel Challenge



Jean Vincent Ridon (SASA) with some of the wine steward candidates
Jean Vincent Ridon (SASA) with some of the wine steward candidates

Distell's Carina Gous
Distell's Carina Gous

Pongracz
Pongracz

The Belmond Mt Nelson team
The Belmond Mt Nelson team

The Table Bay Hotel
The Table Bay Hotel



The 12 Apostles Hotel
The 12 Apostles Hotel

Dessert at The Table Bay
Dessert at The Table Bay

Lize-Marie Gradwell & Franck Dangereux
Lize-Marie Gradwell & Franck Dangereux

Wine steward candidates: Maxwell, Francois, Alfred, Edward & Yannick
Wine steward candidates: Maxwell, Francois, Alfred, Edward & Yannick

Fleur du Cap wines
Fleur du Cap wines

The Taj: Pearl Oliver & Francois Moses
The Taj: Pearl Oliver & Francois Moses

Guy Webber (Stellenzicht) with the team from The Table Bay Hotel
Guy Webber (Stellenzicht) with the team from The Table Bay Hotel

Marieta Human, Britt Geach, Chania Morritt-Smith, Brenda Wilkinson & Annette Kesler
Marieta Human, Britt Geach, Chania Morritt-Smith, Brenda Wilkinson & Annette Kesler

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