Press release, 10 October 2012
Culinary Team South Africa has done our country proud in the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany; the team has brought back one gold medal, one silver medal, seven bronze medals and two diplomas in a competition that has become tougher than ever before.
Both Culinary Team South Africa and our Military Culinary Team were battling it out from 5 to 10 October at the world’s largest and most prestigious gastronomic competition, and we are pleased to announce that our team has done very well on the global culinary stage.
The team won gold in category D2 Sugar Showpiece (an individual entry by Peter Gyorgyicsek), a silver medal in the Senior Hot Kitchen category and bronze medals in the Junior Cold Table, Junior Hot Kitchen and Senior Cold Table. Our individual entrants, Edward Clegg and Jerome Norton secured bronze medals for their Cold Table entries, while Zola Luwaca and Siyabulela Kobo were awarded diplomas for their Cold Table individual entries.
There were 28 competitors in category D2 Sugar Showpiece and only two other contenders received gold medals; Michelle Wibowo from the United Kingdom and Elena Kozachek from Russia. It is truly a great achievement for Gyorgyicsek and Culinary Team South Africa.
“I am extremely happy to win this award. I have been preparing for months and have even slept on the floor of my kitchen every weekend to truly prepare for the long hours and hard work of the IKA Culinary Olympics. I was prepared to do everything possible for the medal. I visualised every single step that I had to take and every single thing I needed to do; I feel extremely rewarded for my efforts,” said Peter Gyorgyicsek.
The scoring for the Senior Hot Kitchen category, which is often thought of as the most coveted category to achieve in, was also extremely tough. Out of 32 countries participating, only four teams (Canada, Germany, Sweden and Norway) achieved gold in the Senior Hot Kitchen category, while South Africa, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Finland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Slovenia, United States, Netherlands, Switzerland and Wales achieved silver; 14 silver medals in total in this category.
“The judges were extremely strict at this year’s Culinary Olympics and participants from many of the countries felt that the judging was particularly harsh this year. It was a good learning experience for South Africa as none of the current team had competed before in the Olympics,” said Culinary Team SA Manager, Bruce Burns.
“It was a very tough competition, and I am very proud of the team and what they have achieved - we have a great group of chefs. I am happy with the results but also a little disappointed that we did not do better. For the future we need more exposure to international competitions to keep up with trends,” continued Senior Team Captain, HD Fraser.
This Culinary Team SA was originally chosen in 2008 and after a successful experience competing in the Luxembourg Wold Cup in 2010, a junior team was created and a few new members joined to become the Culinary Team SA you see today. For two years, the team has been practicing together for four days a month at the South African Chefs Association’s Centre for Culinary Excellence, creating the innovative Hot Kitchen menus for invited guests, as well as perfecting the Cold Table displays.
“The IKA Culinary Olympics was a very tiring but inspiring experience; I am very proud of the Junior Team who has only been together as a team for 18 months prior to competing. After we put out our Cold Table it was a surreal experience to see it laid out – it did not feel like it was ours! In all a very humbling experience and I am happy that we are going home with medals,” said Junior Team Captain, Keiron Reynolds.