History of SACA
The South African chefs Association was founded in 1974 by a group of six chefs who had the vision of an association that would represent the interests of chefs across the country as well as to promote the art and science of cookery in South Africa. In 1976, a monthly magazine, “The Gazette”, was launched with Marc Guebert as the editor. In 1980, SACA sent its first National team to the Culinary Olympics in Germany, and they returned with five individual gold medals and were placed 4th overall in the hot competition. In November 1982, Bill Gallagher was appointed President of SACA and in 1984, the SA team won 11 golds, 3 silver and 2 bronze at the Olympics. In this year, Bill and Heinz Brunner represented SACA for the first time at a WACS congress. In 1986, Paul Bocuse was guest of honour at a gala banquet at the first SACA conference – Infochef.
In 1987, SACA sent SA’s first participant – Garth Stroebel – to the prestigious Bocuse d’Or in France. SACA also won a silver in the cold and gold in the hot competition at the American Culinary classic and in 1988, SACA proudly hosted the diamond jubilee congress of WACS in Johannesburg with over 650 delegates attending. In 1992, SACA receives 18 gold medals at the Olympics and were declared the hot kitchen champions. In 1993, SACA hosted the first World Cooks Tour for Hunger and raises R500 000 for charity. In 1994, the Academy of Chefs (AOC) was founded and SACA celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In 1996, WACS voted unanimously to award the presidium to South Africa and Bill Gallagher, Heinz Brunner and Brian McCune took up the positions of President, Vice President and Secretary General, respectively. In 2003, the second World Cooks Tour for Hunger took place and raised R1.5 million for charity. In 2004, SACA launched the first International Chefs Day and this is now held world-wide on the 20th of October. In 2005 SACA launched the Centre for Culinary excellence, based at the new offices on the campus of the University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality with a computer resource centre, over 1 500 recipe books and a multimedia archive collection. In 2003, Martin Kobald was elected the new President and in 2008 Martin was elected Chairman of the Marketing committee for WACS. In 2009, Stephen Billingham was elected to the position of President