The One&Only Reaching for Young Stars is the major showcase in the Western Cape for culinary academies who put forward some of their finest and most talented young students, all vying for top honours.

Over the last nine years this programme, hosted by the One&Only hotel, has proved to be remarkably successful drawing the royalty of the hospitality world together. The programme provides a platform for executive chefs, cooks, pastry chefs, bakers, winemakers, wine stewards and sommeliers to encourage and give students the means to prove themselves leading to career advancement and ultimately recognition.

Last year, in Dubai at One&Only The Palms and One&Only Royal Mirage where Rutendo Ruth Marovatsanga was fortunate to have an internship in their many superb restaurants. This year, the winning student chef Oigen Kaptein from The Private Hotel School will be travelling to gorgeous Mauritius for an intensive three week internship at the gold-listed Condé Nast Traveller One&Only Le Saint Géran, known far and wide for gracious hospitality. In addition, Oigen Kaptein, Marcelle Strydom (The Hurst Campus), Luke Bergman (Sense of Taste Chef School), Wisani Marivati (The Private Hotel School) and Bevan Trimm (The Hurst Campus ) receive a five-month working experience in Cape Cod, Massachusetts at Winslow’s Tavern, a top heritage restaurant in an historic Federalist building in scenic Wellfleet with fellow South Africans, Chef Patron Phillip & Tracey Hunt.

“Simply competing is an admirable achievement,” says Annette Kesler, Editor of “For those taking part, it is a stepping stone to reach their goals, building confidence to broaden horizons. While Executive Sous Chef & Judge, Kyle Hickman says,”There is a need in South Africa for specialisation for top pâtissières and artisan bakers. It is a pleasure to see the growing talent, but it is up to us to encourage and mentor.”

The 2019 panel of nine judges, each experts in their fields, were headed by Reuben Riffel, with Marieta Human, Brian McCune, Guy Webber, Julietta e Silva, Kyle Hickman, Luvo Ntezo, Marlvin Gwese and Penelope Horwood. The categories this year encompassed a wide field including pastry chefs who showed off their prowess with mille-feuille, bakers produced fragrant artisanal loaves, beverage students presented cocktails in fine style, and superlative service with food and wine pairing while chefs added their final polish to their well-practiced three-course menu.

The teams participating this year; Amy Foundation & Simonsig Wines, Cape Town Hotel School (Part of the Faculty of Business Management Sciences of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, CPUT) & Bellingham & KWV Brandy, & Cruxland Gin, Capsicum Culinary Studio & Boschendal, The Hurst Campus & KWV Cape Classics, International Hotel School & Old Road Wine Co., The Private Hotel School & Linton Park and Sense of Taste Chef School & Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards,

All participated in the Skills Exchange Development Programme in August and the Orientation in September where they experienced talks, demonstrations and lectures from top executive chefs, sommeliers, bakers, food authors and hospitality industry experts who have already found success in South Africa and around the world. They met the partners and judges, and interfaced with the farmers and producers who supplied the food ingredients rigorously selected for their adherence to the best local quality can offer.

Suppliers of superb local ingredients throughout the competition: SA Pork, Lancewood Cheese, Denny Mushrooms, Rio Largo Olive Oil, Bio-Wheat Flour, Avanti Coffee and Khoisan Sea Salt.

All the winners in this year’s awards:

YOUNG STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: Oigen Kaptein (The Private Hotel School)

2nd: Marcelle Strydom (The Hurst Campus)

3rd: Luke Bergman (Sense of Taste Chef School)

DELECTABLE DENNY STARTER: Luke Bergman (Sense of Taste Chef School)

ULTIMATE LANCEWOOD DESSERT: Oigen Kaptein (The Private Hotel School)

SCANPAN EXCELLENT KITCHEN PRACTICE AWARD TO THE DUO OF CHEFS: Kabelo-Luhle Tala & Phila Cele (Cape Town Hotel School, Part of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology)

YOUNG STAR BAKER OF THE YEAR: Wisani Marivati (The Private Hotel School)

2nd: Amir Nizam (Capsicum Culinary Studio)

3rd: Sithandwa Mduzulwana (International Hotel School)


  • Nicolene Oosthuizen (The Hurst Campus)
  • Chanté Amy Cozett (Cape Town Hotel School part of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology)
  • Marius Meyer (The Private Hotel School)

YOUNG STAR BEVERAGE STUDENT OF THE YEAR: Bevan Trimm (The Hurst Campus with KWV Cape Classics)

2nd: Elzaan du Plessis (The Private Hotel School with Simonsig for Team Amy Foundation with Century City Convention Centre)

3rd: Thandi Mamacos (Sense of Taste Chef School with Leeuwenkuil Family Vineyards)

Most Promising: Bunthu Mlungisi (Cape Town Hotel School, part of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology & KWV Brandy)


  • Thandi Mamacos (Sense of Taste Chef School)
    ‘Liquid Gold’ with KWV Brandy 10 YO
  • Elzaan du Plessis (The Private Hotel School)
    ’10 Years with History’ with KWV Brandy 10 YO & Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel
  • Leonardo Sturgeon (The Private Hotel School for Team Capsicum Culinary Studio)
    ‘Green Grasshopper’ with KWV Cruxland Gin


  • Oigen Kaptein & Liam Smith (The Private Hotel School & Linton Park)
  • Marcelle Strydom & Bevan Trimm (The Hurst Campus & KWV Cape Classics) Dessert
    (The Hurst Campus & KWV Cape Classics)
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