The 8th annual One&Only Reaching for Young Stars Awards took place recently at the One&Only hotel in Cape Town, showcasing and celebrating the up-and-coming talent that will soon be entering the hospitality industry. The competition sees culinary academies put forward their some of their best and brightest students to take part in the competition. In the run-up to the competition cook-off, students are exposed to a wide-range of high-profile industry experts and their knowledge through a Skills Exchange Programme and Orientation.

General Manager Richard Lyon says, “This has to be one of my favourite days of the year, there is nothing more exciting than seeing the development of young talent in South Africa, and what an abundance of talent there is. One&Only is committed to service excellence and the increasingly valuable hospitality and tourism industry. We are delighted to support these young bakers, aspirant chefs and beverage students in their remarkable careers. This year, our resorts in Dubai, will award the winning chef an opportunity to embark on a one of a kind culinary journey to work alongside, One&Only Royal Mirage’s, Executive Chef, Laurent Thierry Eric Michel and One&Only The Palm’s, Executive Chef, Patrice Schildowski, experiencing culinary presentations at over 12 captivating bars and restaurants combined, one of these a three Michelin star restaurant, ‘Stay by Chef Yannick Alléno’.”

Students from the following schools took part: Cape Town Hotel School (Part of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CPUT) with Krone and Neethlingshof, Capsicum Culinary Studio with Hill&Dale, The Hurst Campus & Boschendal, Infinity Culinary Training & Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards, International Hotel School & Spier, Pinotage Youth Development Academy & Douglas Green Sherry, The Private Hotel School with Linton Park Wines and The Sense of Taste Chef School with Bellingham Wines.

The students first took part in the Skills Exchange Development Programme in August and then an Orientation in September. Here, they experienced talks and demonstrations from top executive chefs, sommeliers, bakers, food authors and hospitality industry experts. They also met the partners and judges of the competition, and had the opportunity to interact with the farmers and producers who supplied the food ingredients selected for the competition.

The Cook-Off was then held on the 2nd October at Capsicum Culinary Studio in Cape Town. All three categories for the competition (Culinary, Beverage, Food & Wine Pairing) were judged by industry leaders Reuben Riffel, Rudi Liebenberg, Craig Cormack, Kyle Hickman, Jac Kolver, Julietta e Silva, Luvo Ntezo, Penelope Horwood, Carolyn Miller-Krogh, Tinashe Nyamudoka and Siavash Behaein.

Chef Categories:

  • Young Star Chef of the Year: Rutendo Ruth Marovatsanga (The Private Hotel School, Linton Park)
    • 1st Runner Up: Jaydee Less (Sense of Taste Chef School, Bellingham)
    • 2nd Runner Up: Zanele Mdokwana (Infinity Culinary Training, Leeuwenkuil)
  • Most Promising Chef: Kevin Reed (Capsicum Culinary Studio, Hill&Dale)
  • Best Starter: Rutendo Ruth Marovatsanga (The Private Hotel School, Linton Park)
  • Purple Ribbon Award for the best main course, cash prize by SA Pork: Rutendo Ruth Marovatsanga (The Private Hotel School, Linton Park)
  • Ultimate Lancewood Dessert: Chelsea Daniels (International Hotel School, Spier)
  • Scanpan Excellent Kitchen Practice Award: Chelsea Daniels and Stuart Price (International Hotel School)
  • Best Young Star Bio-Wheat Baker of the Year: Anél du Preez (The Hurst Campus)
    • 1st Runner Up: Kyle Campbell (Sense of Taste Chef School)
    • 2nd Runner Up: A tie between ~ Ferdinand October (Capsicum Culinary Studio) and Blos-som Rauza-Dingana (Cape Town Hotel School, Part of the Cape Peninsula University of Tech-nology CPUT)

Beverage Service Categories:

  • Young Star Beverage Student of the Year: Kimberley Lategan (The Private Hotel School with Linton Park)
    • 1st Runner Up: Anna-Mart Willemse (The Hurst Campus with Boschendal)
    • 2nd Runner Up: Marc Trollip (The Private Hotel School with Hill&Dale and Team Capsicum Culinary Studio)
  • Most ‘Scintillating KWV Brandy Cocktail: Top 3
    • Anna-Mart Willemse (The Hurst Campus)
    • Kimberley Lategan (The Private Hotel School)
    • Rigo Eichhoff (Sense of Taste Chef School)

Best Food & Wine Pairing:

  • Rigo Eichhoff (Sense of Taste Chef School with Bellingham)
    (West Coast Black Mussels | Spekboom Froth | Sautéed Squid infused with Khoisan Seaweed & Herb Salt | Foraged Chickweed Salad | Balsamic infused Lancewood Cultured Cream ~ Bellingham Sauvignon Blanc 2017)
  • Kimberley Lategan (The Private Hotel School with Linton Park)
    (Rio Largo Olive Oil Confit Pork Neck | Pork Sausage | Khoisan Salt Crust Baked Beetroot | Sweet Potato | Apple | Braised Fennel | Pomegranate Gastrique ~ Linton Park Malbec 2017)
  • Samkelisiwe Sekese (International Hotel School with Spier)
    Lancewood Coconut Yoghurt Semi Freddo filled with Mango Jam coated with Bitter Orange Nap-page | Cocoa Nib Crunch | Cardamom Anglaise | Mango Jelly | Passion Fruit Gel | Honeycomb ~ Spier Méthode Cap Classique Signature Brut 2015)
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