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WHO IS CULINARY TEAM SOUTH AFRICA?

The National Culinary team is a division of the South African Chefs Association and a non-profit Company since 1974 and has been recognised as the representative for chefs, cooks and caterers of South Africa. The current Culinary Team South Africa is led by team manager, Chef Heinz Brunner (Operations Manager Circle Foods, Hon Life President South African Chefs Association, Hon Life Member World Association of Chefs Societies and past team member). The team includes seven talented chefs, namely: Henrico Grobbelaar (Executive Chef at Southern Sun The Cullinan), Dion Vengatass (Sous Chef Main Kitchen at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel), Blake Anderson (Executive Chef at 3SIXTY and Billy G, Montecasino), Trevor Boyd (Executive Chef at Michelangelo), Kirstin Hellemann (Chef de Partie at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel), Minette Smith (Pastry Chef at HTA School of Culinary Art) and Arno Ralph (Chocolatier at Lindt & Sprungli SA).

Advisors to the Team include Chef Garth Shnier who is the Nodal Executive Chef of Sandton Sun, Sandton Convention Centre and InterContinental Sandton and member of the World Association of Chefs Societies Culinary Guidelines Committee (advisor on competition rules, guidelines and cold kitchen); Chef David Higgs, Chef Patron of Marble Restaurant (hot kitchen advisor); and Martin Kobald, Owner, ChefMLK School of Cooking (international trends and judging advisor).


WHAT IS THE IKA CULINARY OLYMPICS

The IKA Culinary Olympics, the oldest and most prestigious global culinary competition, will take place from 22 to 25 October 2016 in Erfurt, Germany. 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.

A PROUD OLYMPIC CULINARY HISTORY

South Africa first sent a team overseas to compete in the Culinary Olympics in 1980; bringing home five individual gold medals and winning fourth place overall in the hot kitchen competition. For the first time ever in 2000, the South African National Culinary Team or Culinary Team South Africa as it is now known, comprised a wholly South African born and trained team.

Throughout the culinary team’s history, renowned chefs have been a part of the team, including the late Bill Gallagher, Heinz Brunner, Manfred Muellers, Bruce Burns, Andrew Atkinson, Garth Shnier, Paul Hartmann, David Higgs and Garth Stroebel.

In 2004, Team SA brought back four medals constituting of three silvers and one bronze. In 2008, Culinary Team SA brought back a gold medal in the Hot Kitchen section – the first gold to be won by South Africa in 16 years. In the same year, Culinary Team SA were awarded the official South African Team status by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Bureau of Heraldry. This recognition reflects the enormous achievements of the South African Chefs Association and growth of the South African National Culinary Team.


COMPETITION STRUCTURE OF IKA CULINARY OLYMPICS

Hot Kitchen Starter: Cape Crayfish ‘Malay’ – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce

Hot Kitchen Main Course: Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan-roasted loin of springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato

Hot Kitchen Dessert: Textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut & White Chocolate - coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly

 

South Africa will be among the 32 countries showcasing their talents, skills and culinary specialities to the world in October. Our aspiring team of seven chefs have been hard at work practising the preparation of their chosen dishes which they will present to esteemed judges from around the globe. The IKA Culinary Olympics comprises two categories: the Hot Kitchen menu and the Cold Table display.

HOT KITCHEN

The teams will have six hours to prepare their three-course menus which will be served to 110 people in the Restaurant of Nations on 24 October.

Renowned chef and past team South African National Culinary Team member, David Higgs, Chef Patron of Marble Restaurant is the team’s hot kitchen advisor. The 2016 South African National Culinary Team’s Olympic hot kitchen menu features:

Starter: Cape Crayfish ‘Malay’

Poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce.

The Malay influences in this dish are representative of the rich history of the Cape Malay community.

Main Course: Springbok ‘Masakhane’

Pan-roasted loin of springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato.

The use of Springbok meat showcases South Africa’s quality indigenous produce.

Dessert: Textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut & White Chocolate

Coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly.

The rose elements of this dish represent Bloemfontein where an annual rose festival is held; while the raspberries once again highlight the high standard of locally grown produce. South Africa is one of the biggest producers of raspberries in the world, the vast majority of locally-grown raspberries are exported.

The South African National Culinary Team brought back a gold medal in the Hot Kitchen section in 2008 – the first gold to be won by South Africa in 16 years. In the same year, the South African National Culinary Team was awarded the official South African team status by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Bureau of Heraldry.

COLD TABLE

The 2016 South African National Olympic Culinary Team have benefitted from the wealth of knowledge of their cold kitchen advisor Garth Shnier, past team member and current Nodal Executive Chef of Sandton Sun, Sandton Convention Centre and InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton and member of the World Association of Chefs Societies Culinary Guidelines Committee. The team have created 29 intricate dishes that make up what is known as the Cold Table, consisting of various categories, including a five-course menu, tapas, festive platter, friandises, four desserts, three starters, an ovo-lacto vegetarian three course menu, showpiece and more. The Cold Table is an overwhelmingly impressive demonstration of the techniques and talents of the chefs represented on our team.

The Cold Table dishes are painstakingly prepared in intricate detail and with exacting precision. The food is coated with aspic, a gelatine-like substance, to preserve it for the duration of the display and to enhance the colour and visual appeal of the dishes. The Cold Table is a showcase of chefs’ skills, patience and precision. This presentation is the personification of the science of culinary art, which tests old world skills presented in new world style.

This category of the competition is judged on presentation, composition of the plate, practicality of the dish for the restaurant environment, aesthetic appeal of the dish, quality of aspic work and whether the dish appears as described. It is an extremely exacting component of the Culinary Olympics and one that tests the skills of chefs unlike any other. Our young chefs will be exposed to cutting edge techniques and cuisines from around the world and will return to share this knowledge with their peers. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest benefits of international culinary competitions.

Through consultation with technical experts in the field of gelatine and aspic, the 2016 team has broken new ground in the chemistry and technique of aspic. Most gelatine in the world is used in bulk food manufacturing applications, but its versatility is only bound by a chef’s imagination. Gelita offered some valuable advice to the South African National Culinary Team on their cold table presentation with regard to the aspic work.

Crockery for the Cold Table has been sponsored by Steelite International, a world-leading manufacturer of award-winning inspirational tabletop solutions for the international hospitality industry.

The South African Culinary Team Cold Table is to be presented to the IKA Culinary Olympics international jury on our allocated exhibition day, which for South Africa will be Saturday 22 October. The theme of South Africa’s Cold Table this year is ‘The Bounty of the Earth’, reflecting South Africa’s rich natural resources and mining history, as well as the abundant bounty of ingredients from land and sea. Each team member was asked to choose a gemstone to represent the dishes they will be presenting, with the chocolate showpiece of a mineshaft and traditional mining equipment completing the picture.

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