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Springbok‚ Malay style crayfish and coconut - South African chefs prepare for Culinary Olympics

20 June 2016 - 20:14 By Julia Madibogo

The South African National Culinary team is ready to cook their way to championship standard at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt‚ Germany‚ in October.In final preparations for the four-day olympics‚ the team hosted about 110 guests at the 3Sixty lounge in Montecasino‚ Johannesburg‚ on Monday to offer a taste of the proudly South African menu that they hope will crown them the world's best chefs for 2016.Team manager Heinz Brunner‚ who was part of the second national team to participate in the olympics in 1984‚ said the seven-member team has been preparing for the last two years."We have structured a timetable that the four guys from Cape Town fly to Joburg once a month. It’s a young team they are very passionate and very committed and they are hopefully in for the long run‚" Brunner said.A total of 32 countries will have six hours to prepare their three-course menus to serve 110 people under the scrutiny of thousands of spectators and international judges from around the world.The South African team members were selected after a number of competitions‚ including cook-offs. They currently work for various luxury hotels and restaurants. They are:Dion Vengatass and Kirstin Hellemann (both from the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel); Henrico Grobelaar (Southern Sun Waterfront); Blake Anderson (3Sixty and Billy G‚ Montecasino); Jerome Norton (Four Seasons‚ The Westcliff Hotel); Minette Smith (HTA School of Culinary Art) and Arno Ralph (Lindt & Sprungli SA)."I think they will do the best they can‚ no doubt about it‚ they are very dynamic and they get on very well with each other which is very important‚" Brunner said.The team will participate in two programmes - the hot kitchen‚ which will see them prepare their three-course menu for six hours before serving guests which include judges; and the cold kitchen programme‚ which will see each chef being granted a responsibility such as making showpiece platters and the dessert.The South African teams menu consists of: - a starter of Cape Lobster ‘Malay’ – poached crayfish‚ pressed carrot terrine‚ carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce‚ which was paired with Morgenster NU sauvignon blanc 2015 for the Chefs of Distinction dinner; - Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan roasted loin of springbok‚ rolled veal sweetbreads‚ red cabbage and cider puree‚ savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato‚ paired with Morgenster Lourens River Valley 2011; and - White chocolate and coconut mousse‚ rose gel‚ coconut sorbet and pulled sugar‚ paired with Morgenster Italian Collection Nabucco 2011.Brunner says the menu was selected as a representation of South Africa.Judges will rate teams on presentation‚ timing‚ personal appearance‚ wastage and hygiene‚ originality‚ taste‚ cooking methods...

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