31 Aug 2017 | By Sun International
The Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge
Dubbed the ‘Hotel Oscars’, the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge is one of the hospitality industry’s most significant showcases of food, wine and spirits pairing. Launched in 2013, it takes the format of a multifaceted competition among prestigious South African hotels, 29 of them this year, including The Table Bay in Cape Town.
With a two-pronged purpose of uplifting, educating and upskilling talented trainees chefs and wine stewards, while also boosting the South African hospitality industry, the 2017 Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge is now in its fifth year.
Tourism minister, Tokozile Xasa, has been a firm supporter of the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge all along, also in her previous capacity as deputy tourism minister. She has been quoted in the media as saying:
“This competition acknowledges the talents of some of South Africa's most creative and promising young chefs and wine stewards, while at the same time recognising the crucial role of mentorship in the industry… Importantly contributing to the hospitality industry, our heartbeat of tourism, one of our most valuable assets.”
How the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge works
Each participating hotel nominates a wine steward and a young chef, who together take part in a number of stages over the six months of the challenge. While gaining valuable experience and knowledge to further their careers in the food and beverage industry, the team participate in workshops with local and international culinary stars, various training sessions, preparation of menus and pairing dishes with Cape Legends wines and Distell spirits, as well as regional cook-offs between the teams in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
The Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge 2017 culminates in a national awards dinner in August.
Meet The Table Bay hotel 2017 team
This year the hotel is represented in the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge by wine steward Julia Situma, mentored by The Table Bay’s assistant food and beverage manager Heinrich la Meyer and chef Farzanah Harris, mentored by The Table Bay’s executive chef, Jocelyn Myers-Adams.
The Table Bay hotel’s participation in the annual Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge is part of its commitment to providing qualified mentorship, focused staff development, and career-path mapping. Says the hotel’s general manager, Joanne Selby:
“We consider the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge as an ideal platform for our aspiring chefs and stewards to showcase their prowess while benefiting from the close mentorship of our senior culinary and wine experts. It’s with initiatives like this that they can be exposed to industry trends, show their initiative and shine.” She adds that it is through the mentorship and on-the-job training so enthusiastically offered by the hotel’s senior chefs staff that culinary teams benefit most meaningfully.
The winning candidate chef of the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge 2017 will travel to Dubai for three weeks, with a week at The Marriott Ritz-Carlton Hotel and two at the JW Marriott Marquis to experience fine dining and large-scale catering. This will include work experience in both the hot and cold kitchen, as well as the patisserie.
The winning wine steward will be exposed to the sommelier environment in London, be taken to Scotland to visit distilleries, and travel to the French wine region of Bordeaux, as well as Cognac to visit the Bisquit distillers.
Other prizes of the Cape Legends & Artisan Spirits Inter Hotel Challenge 2017 include generous developmental bursaries from the Hospitality Property Fund, the International Hotel School (offering a higher certificate online) while the four top wine stewards will receive bursaries from the Cape Wine Academy.