Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge 2017

Tuesday, 23 May, 2017
Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challen
2013 saw the first inter hotel challenge with ten top Cape hotels. 2016 has seen the growth in this initiative extending to Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal with a total of 25 hotels on board and in the process evolving into the CAPE LEGENDS & ARTISAN SPIRITS INTER HOTEL CHALLENGE.

Cape Legends is the fine wine arm of Distell who with their superb wine estates and artisan spirits are a major force in this development initiative having the vision to take on this social responsibility creating a window for the industry. 

2017 will see 29 nationwide hotels participating and ten culinary academies in the Cape involved in the Skills Exchange Development Programme, 4th August at KitchenAid with Master Classes from Michelin star chef patron Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen (Côte d’Azur, Nice) and top caterer Elsa van der Nest, Elsa&Co Singapore to participate in a comprehensive culinary workshop for the Candidate Chefs, students and key press. This is the beginning of our Sub-Saharan push offering a practical development strategy benefiting all participants, a key section of the Challenge. While the Candidate Wine Stewards and students will experience the art of wine blending at Stellenzicht with Guy Webber and an insight into scintillating cocktail making.

Showcook’s goal is to provide the opportunity and inspiration for the most talented, creative trainees. Giving them goals and the possibility of achieving success not only in South Africa, but internationally to become ambassadors for our hospitality industry.

Annette Kesler,, Editor and doyenne of the food industry in South Africa, is well respected in this culinary sphere and very fortunate in having continued huge press support, together with Managing Editor, Chania Morritt-Smith. It would be good for you to see the links below to give you an idea of the scope of the Challenge in action.

The challenge embraces many facets with three Regional Orientations and four Launches in March commencing with Johannesburg. An Orientation day on Friday 10th March at the University of Johannesburg and a collaborative Executive Chef Launch lunch on Sunday 12th March at The Palace at the Lost City Sun International showcasing African Pride Melrose Arch (Marriott), De Hoek Country Hotel, InterContinental O.R. Tambo, The Maslow (Sun International), The Palazzo Montecasino (Tsogo Sun) and Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton (Marriott).

KwaZulu-Natal The Orientation on Tuesday 14th at the Durban ICC & Launch on Thursday 16th March at Hartford House introducing their candidates representing Beverly Hills (Tsogo Sun), Durban International Convention Centre, Hartford House, The Protea Edward (Marriott) and Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani (Tsogo Sun).

Finally in Cape Town (Orientation Thursday 23rd March at the Southern Sun Waterfront and two Launches; Saturday 25th at NH The Lord Charles, & Wednesday 29th March at the Vineyard) with African Pride Arabella Hotel (Marriott), African Pride Crystal Palace (Marriott), Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Grace, Cape Town International Convention Centre CTICC, Grootbos, One&Only Cape Town, Radisson Blu Waterfront, Southern Sun Cape Sun, Southern Sun The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront, The Table Bay (Sun International), Taj Cape Town, The Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa and The Westin.

This introductory series will be followed by the Grape to Glass experience in May where Wine Stewards will be flown down and attend in-depth workshops with the South African Sommeliers Association. They will visit the Cape winelands, meet the winemakers and cellar masters forging new relationships and networks.

Regional Cook-Offs in June with highly qualified and respected panel of food and wine judges headed by Heinz Brunner who managed the bronze medal winning SA Olympic Culinary Team and Higgo Jacobs Chairman of the South African Sommeliers Association.

The culmination will be a black tie Awards Gala Dinner at the Southern Sun Cape Sun Saturday 5th August where all the hotels will be present regardless whether they are winners (+- 280 pax). The SA Minister of Tourism continues to support this initiative and will no doubt join us wherever possible.

Deputy Minister SA Tourism Tokozile Xasa says, “This competition acknowledges the talents of South Africa most creative young chefs and wine stewards, recognizing the crucial role of mentorship. Importantly contributing to the hospitality industry our heartbeat of tourism, one of our most valuable assets. I wish to pledge my support in better positioning SA for economic growth, job creation, skills development, investment potential and ultimately a destination of choice.”

The winning Candidate Chef will enjoy a brilliant opportunity of a three-week visit to Dubai – a week at The Marriott Ritz-Carlton Hotel and two at their flagship JW Marriott Marquis where they will experience fine dining and large scale catering. This will include stints in the hot and cold kitchen and patisserie. Flights will be provided by Cape Legends.

The winners over the years have been invited to Long Beach Mauritius, Taj Mahal Palace India, The Shangri-La in Dubai and Radisson Blu Alcron in Prague.

The winning Wine Steward will be exposed to the sommelier environment in London, and be taken to Scotland to visit Distell distilleries. They will also travel to Bordeaux and Cognac to visit Bisquit and learn about Cognac.

Prizes include generous developmental bursaries from the Hospitality Property Fund – entrepreneurial and tailor made to the individual, with the International Hotel School offering a higher certificate on-line. Our top four Wine Stewards will receive bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy. This is a magnificent opportunity to give them a leg up in their chosen career with cash prizes from Avanti.


The Table Bay woman's team
The Table Bay woman's team

Cape Legends Interhotel Challenge Launch Lord Charles
Cape Legends Interhotel Challenge Launch Lord Charles

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