Springbok chefs 'stepped up to the plate' to take medals at the Culinary Olympics

25 February 2020 - 14:01 By Busang Senne
Team Masakhane members are, left to right, Sifiso Chiziano, Lesley Jacobs (logistics), Bradley van Niekerk, Kirstin Hellemann, Dion Vengatass (captain), Adrian Vigus Brown, Craig Henley (logistics), Oscar Baard, Chanté Rabie and Nicolas van der Walt (logistics and individual competitor).
Team Masakhane members are, left to right, Sifiso Chiziano, Lesley Jacobs (logistics), Bradley van Niekerk, Kirstin Hellemann, Dion Vengatass (captain), Adrian Vigus Brown, Craig Henley (logistics), Oscar Baard, Chanté Rabie and Nicolas van der Walt (logistics and individual competitor).
Image: Supplied

The SA Culinary Olympic Team stepped up to the plate and won three bronze medals, competing against 67 other countries in the world’s biggest culinary arts competition.

Team Masakhane represented SA at the prestigious culinary platform in Germany and despite the pressure the chefs managed to take home awards for the categories they competed in: the Chef’s Table and Restaurant of Nations.

“What a rollercoaster ride the past three years has been. We went to show that SA can compete against the best. The response from the other countries clearly showed we’re a force to be reckoned with,” said Dion Vengatass, team captain and chef de cuisine at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel.

A third medal was awarded to free agent Nicolas van der Walt from FBI Culinary Studio for his sweet creation depicting SA’s national flower, the king protea, made entirely of sugar.

Chefs within the upper echelons of the industry had no shortage of praise for the Springbok culinary athletes.

Thomas Overbeck, general manager of the SA Chefs' Association, said: “We are incredibly proud of the team and their dedication, discipline and control, both on and off the playing field. They had a wonderful camaraderie, and we are very proud of the bronze medals they achieved.”

Chef Martin Kobald, deputy president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, said: “Out of the kitchen, Team Masakhane was full of energy, friendship and brotherhood. In the kitchen, they were full of dedication, passion, great workmanship, professionalism and team spirit. They are a very young team who are going to make big culinary waves in the future.” 


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