Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Hotel celebrates a sterling performance at the ultimate food and wine pairing challenge

Tuesday, 14 August, 2018
Subashni Govender
Scooping titles such as best main dish and placed third overall in the 2018 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge, Tsogo Sun KZN is proving to be at the forefront of the hospitality industry showcasing outstanding young talent.

Candidate chef at the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani’s banqueting kitchen, Bevashan Naidoo, 23, claimed the prize for best main dish prepared and clinched third spot overall in the competition’s Chef of the Year category.

Naidoo, of Queensburgh, Durban, who began his career in the hospitality industry four years ago working as a trainee, triumphed over 30 participants from hotels across the country.

The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani’s vibrant and innovative team comprising of Naidoo, commis chef, Sphephelo Mtshali, and sommelier Rimika Maharaj scooped third place for their teamwork, co-ordination and innovation.

“It’s a great honour to be afforded the opportunity to represent the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel and compete against other young, aspiring chefs throughout the country,” says Naidoo.

“I have been fortunate to work with a well-respected and esteemed head chef, Shaun Munro who has been a wonderful motivational mentor, whom I’ve drawn a great deal of inspiration from. I am humbled to be recognised for my passion on this national level,” he said adding that the competition allowed him to enhance his skills by learning from peers and expanding on his own capabilities.

The 2018 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is aimed at encouraging development in the hospitality industry that will give a much-needed boost to young talent.

The challenge culminated in a glitzy awards celebration at the Belmond Mount Nelson hotel on Saturday, 4 August.

“We are extremely proud of the team’s success and particularly Bevashan’s standout performance with his main dish. The team showcased their talents, creativity and innovation and proved that our local hospitality is of the highest standard,” says Samantha Croft, GM Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani Complex.

Not only does the competition create a platform for up-and-coming professionals within the hospitality industry to showcase their abilities but also provides mentoring and training opportunities for promising young talent to hone their craft and reach their full potential.

“The hotel prides itself on offering exceptional food and wine pairing experiences in our restaurants and activities such as the inter hotel challenge are key to maintaining and enhancing our offering to the public,” adds Croft.

Bevashan Naidoo, won best main dish prepared at the 2018 Distel Inter Hotel Challenge
Bevashan Naidoo, won best main dish prepared at the 2018 Distel Inter Hotel Challenge

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