Sandton Convention Centre does an incredible job of hosting events, both big and small, running like a well-oiled machine. However, their F&B offerings truly offer something special, with a knowledgeable team on-site and excellent F&B resources just a phone call away within the Tsogo Sun network. At the end of 2018, we attended an event at Sandton Convention Centre that showcased their wonderful food and wine pairing offerings.

We were spoilt rotten with fantastic wines from the Tsogo Sun Nederburg Auction cellar, such as the sublime Graham Beck Pieter Ferreira CWG Non Plus Ultra MCC Brut, Feiteiras Verdelho, Neethlingshof Gewürztraminer, and Cederberg Shiraz. Selected by Tsogo Sun Group Sommelier, Miguel Chan, the wine stocks that Sandton Convention Centre has access to are really something special, including unusual varietals and hard-to-get gems from Cape Winemakers Guild and Nedbank Winemakers Guild Auctions.

Menus cater for a wide-range of briefs, be it gala dinner sit-down, canapés or live food stations, the Sandton Convention Centre team can match modern trends or classic dining needs. Food and wine pairings are a skilful partnership between Tsogo Sun Group Sommelier Miguel Chan or Sandton Sun F&B Manager, CD Kotze and Sandton Convention Centre Executive Chef James Khoza or Sandton Sun Executive Chef Gerard Vingerling. Sandton Convention Centre’s function rooms transformed to suit any theme, with myriad room décor and layout options. Tables can be dressed beautifully with fresh, green centrepieces or eye-catching floral designs, guests mingling in a vibey cocktail set-up or chilling in a smooth lounge area.

We asked Sandton Convention Centre’s Director of Operations and General Manager Shaun Bird (pictured above) to nominate some of his favourite events from 2018, and here are the top 2:

BRICS Summit

Tell us about the event?

The 10th BRICS Summit – BRICS in Africa was a high-profile event with various heads of state attending (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). The event was a three-day conference event, which included a Presidential lunch, and the event was attended by 250 esteemed guests.

Set-up?

Sandton Convention Centre re-did flooring and carpeting, and furniture was specifically designed for the plenary. The décor for the event was proudly and elegantly South African which included our national flower, the King Protea as a focus point on tables.

The Menu?

Apart from the catering needs for the various delegates throughout the event, Sandton Convention Centre Executive Chef James Khoza created a fine dining lunch for the global leaders who attended the BRICS Summit. The menu included:

  • Starter: Baked African fishcake in coconut brioche crust | Cape Malay pickle | cucumber riata | spicy corn salad

(Vegetarian Option: Marinated mushroom and feta cheese stack | sticky tomato salsa | seasonal salad bouquet)

  • Main Course: Grilled rack of lamb | dried cherry jus | caramelised onion and polenta tart | char-grilled vegetables

(Vegetarian Option: Butternut and feta cannelloni | creamy tomato sauce)

  • Dessert: Banana and custard tart | chocolate torte

What was it about this event that makes it stand out to you?

The complexity behind bringing all the elements of the project together was challenging but extremely exciting. It was a nine-month project to ensure that all elements came together during BRICS. We worked closely with DIRCO on this event.

Africa Investment Forum:

Tell us about the event?

This high-profile event which took place from 7 to 9 November saw 10 heads of state attending, as well as project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and public and private sector investors. Allof whom came together to accelerate African investment opportunities. The event included a dinner for 1 100 pax and a cocktail function for 500 pax.

The menu?

The brief with regard to food throughout the event was that “no-one must go hungry and food must be available from 07h00 to 19h00” with a focus on easy-to-eat, wholesome food.

The menu for the Presidents’ Lunch was as follows:

  • Starter: Cherry tomato tart tatin | cheese croquuette | spicy chakalaka oil | tomato jelly
  • Main Course: New York beef fillet | marrow and mushroom duxelle | butternut mash | baby vegetables| bone marrow hollandaise spuma | Bordelaise sauce
  • Dessert: Baked Marula cheesecake | Tonka bean fudge | rooibos and pecan nut baklava | mocha spread

The wines?

For the Presidential Lunch menu, La Motte Sauvignon Blanc was selected as the white wine, and Anthonij Rupert Wyne Protea Merlot for the red.

What was it about this event that makes it stand out to you?

The team at Sandton Convention Centre were able to maximise space in the venue to create various meeting areas where delegates could interact. The sheer scale of the delegates meant this project had to be handled with military precision.

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