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Local chefs cook for royalty

28 June 2011 - 20:41 By BIENNE HUISMAN and WERNER SWART

Two local chefs have been dispatched to the royal wedding in Monaco.

Dean Uren, executive chef at the five-star Fairmont Zimbali Lodge near Durban, and his colleague Peter Mtshali leave for Monaco tomorrow ahead of the nuptials of Prince Albert and South Africa's Charlene Wittstock.

They will help prepare a gala buffet for 6000 people after the couple's civil ceremony on Friday. They will also head preparations for a "South African menu" for 200 guests on Saturday once the royal ceremony is concluded.

Initially, foreign chefs suggested dishes such as crocodile and apricot jam. But Uren and Mtshali came up with dishes including pastries stuffed with ostrich bobotie, and kudu peppered with kameelhout spice, a blend of coriander, pepper and cloves generally used in boerewors.

"Besides the honour, this is a great opportunity to showcase our culture and food," said Mtshali.

Said Uren: "I am excited, but it's also so nerve-racking.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it's going to be a beautiful event."