2016 Cape Legends Interhotel Awards

Saturday, 30 July, 2016
Chania Morritt-Smith - Showcook.com
The fourth annual Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge, sponsored by Cape Legends fine wines and choice Distell artisan spirits, culminated in a scintillating celebration at the Belmond Mount Nelson, Friday 29th July 2016.

Each table was stunning in ‘Platinum & Pearls’, creatively designed by individual hotels. Our theme highlighted the rich resources that we are fortunate to have, both natural and particularly in the people of South Africa.

A unique occasion, viewed as the Hotel Oscars and a national initiative with 23 hotels from the Cape to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal on board, all part of a remarkable family of top hotels known for style and gracious expertise. The vital aim of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge is to encourage development in the hospitality industry that will raise the bar!

Mentorship, recognition of talent and enthusiasm has been a part of the Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge from the beginning. The skills upliftment has had a huge ripple effect on our Tourism Industry, one of the major growth areas in our economy. South Africa has become recognized as a top culinary destination, while food and wine tourism is growing dramatically.

Each of the hotels were paired with an exquisite Cape Legends Wine Estate and choice artisan spirits making a formidable team;

In GautengSouthern Sun Hyde Park with Durbanville Hills & Black Bottle.  Sun International The Maslow with Zonnebloem & Van Ryn’sProtea Hotel Balalaika Sandton together with Pongrácz & Bain’sThe Palazzo saw their team partnering with Nederburg & Bisquit

KwaZulu-Natal; The Beverly Hills and Nederburg & Van Ryn’sProtea Hotel Edward (Marriott) teamed with Durbanville Hills & Black Bottle, while Hartford House with Fleur Du Cap & Bain’s, and Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani with Zonnebloem & Bisquit

Cape TownArabella Hotel & Spa with Neethlingshof  & Van Ryn’s, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel and Lomond & Monis while Cape Grace teamed with Zonnebloem & Bain’sCape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) with Durbanville Hills & Van Ryn’s,  Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and Durbanville Hills & Scottish LeaderNH The Lord Charles with Plaisir de Merle & Black BottleOne&Only, Cape Town and Le Bonheur and BunnahabhainRadisson Blu Le Vendome and Uitkyk & Bain’sSouthern Sun The Cullinan and Pongrácz & MonisSun International The Table Bay and Stellenzicht & Black BottleTaj, Cape Town with Allesverloren & Bisquit, The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and Nederburg & BunnahabhainThe Westin with Alto & Scottish Leader, and Vineyard Hotel with Fleur Du Cap & Bisquit

2015 saw the launch of the Skills Exchange Development Programme at the Beverly Hills with the Deputy Minister Tokozile Xasa where we invited leading Chefs from Seychelles, Mauritius and Abu Dhabi. This year NOBU at the One&Only, Cape Town was the home for our skills development day where some leading executive chefs demonstrated to a captivated audience of candidates from around South Africa. Among them was brilliant chef patron Franck Dangereux (FoodBarn), Kyle Hickman (One&Only) patissiere of note, top Executive Chef Christo Pretorius (The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa), one of SA’s excellent bread makers, Togara Mabharani (Belmond Mount Nelson) and from exquisite Hartford House, Constantijn Hahndiek, who showed off his expertise with superb Midlands trout. For the wine stewards, an in-depth wine blending workshop with Guy Webber at Stellenzicht and where Owen O’Reilly, a Mixologist from Black Bottle Blended Scotch Whisky divulged the secret of scintillating cocktails.

Our panel of top judges who traveled throughout SA was headed by Heinz Brunner (Honorary Lifetime President of the South African Chefs Association, past Vice-Chairman of the World Body of Chefs and team manager of the Culinary Olympics team), Alan Romburgh (Hospitality Consultant), Marieta Human (Nutritionist representing South African Pork), Higgo Jacobs (Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association), Sandy Harper (CWM) and Germain Lehodey (Sommelier)

Regional cook-offs took place in June in Johannesburg at the International Hotel School, in Durban at Unilever Food Solutions state of the art, and in Cape Town at the International Hotel School.

“There is an art to designing a balanced menu,” says Annette Kesler Editor Showcook.com. “Describing dishes precisely, exciting both the palate and the imagination using choice ingredients; premium SA Pork in myriad ways. Lancewood soft white cheeses, Rio Largo Olive Oil and Khoisan Sea Salt. Talent, creativity, skill and enthusiasm arewhat our candidate chefs and wine stewards brought to their splendid entries.

The winning chef, Rusita Naidoo representing Beverly Hills, Nederburg & Van Ryn’s, will be jetting off to the Michelin starred Radisson BluAlcron in Prague for a brilliant opportunity of a three-week working visit. Return flights are generously provided by Distell!

The winning wine steward, Sibonele Nongqotho (Wonga), representing Cape Grace, Zonnebloem & Bain’s will be embarking on a brilliant opportunity of a ten-day travel experience with Distell including London, a two day stay at the superb The Montague on the Gardens -  Red Carnation while working closely with the 67 Pall Mall sommelier team - the most exclusive wine club in the heart of St James, then on to Scotland with visits to top distilleries; Deanstone and Bunnahabhain. On the itinerary… France, Bisquit in stunning Cognac and finally an introduction to a world of wines in Bordeaux, La Cité du Vin!  He will be awarded with a top bursary from the Cape Wine Academy and have the opportunity of attending the launch of the prestigious Platter Wine Guide, tasting a large and varied selection of South Africa’s finest wines in the company of some of the country’s most experienced and trusted palates.

Generous, practical and fabulous prizes were awarded by Cape Legends and Distell, superb KitchenAid SA ScanPan Cookware and Global Knives from AL&CD Ashley. Meaningful bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy, South African Sommeliers Association, Hospitality Property Fund and cash prizes from SA pork and Avanti. In addition, delectable Lancewood, Von Geusau Chocolates, elegant Riedel glassware and books for life from Struik Lifestyle




  • ‘Reflects the ethos of the hotel’ – Arabella Hotel
  • ‘Wish to Dine At’ – Beverly Hills
  • ‘Most Glamorous’– Cape Grace


…. Ah a woman!   Nancy Gaylard, Protea Hotel BALALAIKA Sandton – Marriott


Showcook’s award for utter professionalism, generosity of spirit for special care! - BEVERLY HILLS


BEST BREAD Presented by Dr Susanne Reuther (KitchenAid South Africa)

  • 3rd Place - Clinton Bonhomme, Southern Sun ELANGENI & MAHARANI Tsogo Sun
  • 2nd Place - Cecelia Adams, CAPE GRACE
  • 1st  Place - Togara Mabharani, BELMOND MOUNT NELSON


Aphelele Dlungana and his assistant Farznah Harris, Sun International TABLE BAY


Jennifer Robb, GROOTBOS Private Nature Reserve


Courtney Horne, Sun International THE MASLOW

A symphony of Beetroot with truffled goat's cheese, Lancewood Cheese crème fraîche paired with Zonnebloem Sauvignon blanc.

BEST PORK DISH The SA Pork Purple Ribbon Award R10 000 Cash

Qhubokuhle Ntshangase, Southern Sun ELANGENI & MAHARANI Tsogo Sun

‘Three Little Piggy's’ - Roast bacon wrapped pork fillet, prune purée, crumbed Lancewood Cheese pork frikkadel on red cabbage, slow cooked pork belly on apple and sweet potato mash with Khoisan Natural Sea Salt crackling brûlée, carrot and cauliflower purée, asparagus spears, brussel sprout leaves and beetroot jelly served with Dijon mustard pork jus paired with Zonnebloem Chardonnay 2015


Lennox Mbanga, African Pride ARABELLA Hotel & Spa
Lemon Coconut Cheesecake, malva pudding and crushed honeycomb paired with Van Ryn's 10Year Old

THE MOST PROMISING CHEF R15 000 Bursary from Hospitality Property Fund

Simamkele Twani, Protea Hotel BALALAIKA Sandton – Marriott


  • 1st Rusita Naidoo, The Beverly Hills Tsogo Sun (Nederburg & Van Ryn’s)
  • 2nd Gizelle Els, NH The Lord Charles (Plaisir de Merle & Black Bottle)
  • 3rd Qhubokuhle Ntshangase, Southern Sun ELANGENI & MAHARANI Tsogo Sun (Zonnebloem & Bisquit)     


South African Sommeliers Association Award for the most “Up & Coming Wine Steward”  Anita Thomson, Vineyard Hotel (Fleur du Cap & Bisquit)

  • 1st Sibonele Wonga Nongqotho, CAPE GRACE (Zonnebloem & Bain’s)
  • 2nd Donald Xaba, PROTEA HOTEL EDWARD (Durbanville Hills & Black Bottle)
  • 3rd Alfred Kudzani Mswaka,TWELVE APOSTLES Hotel & Spa, (Nederburg & Bunnahabhain)


Message from our Deputy Minister of SA Tourism Tokozile Xasa, “While I cannot be with you tonight I share in your excitement. This competition acknowledges the talents of some of SA’s most creative young chefs and wine stewards and at the same time recognizes the crucial role of mentorship. This has indeed gathered momentum and become well respected in the industry. Our department will work hand in hand with you to grow 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 pledge my support for your role in better positioning SA for economic growth, skills development, job creation and investment potential and ultimately a destination of choice may it only grow from strength to strength.”

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For enquiries and photos please contact: Chania Morritt-Smith (Managing Editor) chania@showcook.co.za or cell: 079 1138329

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Lize-Marie Gradwell & Wonga Nongqotho
Lize-Marie Gradwell & Wonga Nongqotho

NO 1 Wine Steward - Sibonele Nongqotho(Wonga)- Cape Grace
NO 1 Wine Steward - Sibonele Nongqotho(Wonga)- Cape Grace

Sandy Harper CWM & Judge & NO 2 Wine Steward Donald Xaba - Protea Hotel Edward
Sandy Harper CWM & Judge & NO 2 Wine Steward Donald Xaba - Protea Hotel Edward

NO 3 Wine Steward - Alfred Mswaka - Twelve Apostles
NO 3 Wine Steward - Alfred Mswaka - Twelve Apostles

NO 1 Chef - Rusita Naidoo - Beverly Hills Tsogo Sun
NO 1 Chef - Rusita Naidoo - Beverly Hills Tsogo Sun

delicious starters
delicious starters

Up&Coming Wine Steward - Anita Thomson - The Vineyard Hotel
Up&Coming Wine Steward - Anita Thomson - The Vineyard Hotel

The Cape Grace Table(winning table)
The Cape Grace Table(winning table)

Distell MD Richard Rushton
Distell MD Richard Rushton

Michelle Grimbeek, Wonga Nongqotho & Marlvin Gwese
Michelle Grimbeek, Wonga Nongqotho & Marlvin Gwese

Brenda Wilkinson & Lize-Marie Gradwell
Brenda Wilkinson & Lize-Marie Gradwell

The Belmond Mount Nelson team
The Belmond Mount Nelson team

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