Press release, 8 October 2012
Culinary Team South Africa is currently in Erfurt, Germany, battling it out at the world’s largest and most prestigious gastronomic competition, the IKA Culinary Olympics. We are thrilled to announce that the team has won gold in category D2 Sugar Showpiece (an individual entry by Peter Gyorgyicsek), a silver medal in the Senior Hot Kitchen category and a bronze in the Junior Cold Table.
Taking place from 5 to 10 October 2012, the IKA Culinary Olympics brings together over 50 national culinary teams to compete for medals in a number of different categories. Culinary Team SA is competing in both the Junior and Senior Hot Kitchen categories, the individual Sugar Showpiece category, Junior and Senior Cold Table displays, as well as individual entry Cold Table displays.
Peter Gyorgyicsek, a senior member of Culinary Team SA, of Hungarian descent was the man behind the incredible Sugar Showpiece that secured the first gold medal for the team. His sculpture, made entirely of sugar, is a vibrant artwork that demonstrates Peter’s incredible talent, creativity and dedication to his craft.
“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,” says Peter Gyorgyicsek.
“I feel my showpiece was different to the others on display as it really gives you a positive feeling. I created it for people to really explore it and take in all the different elements,” Gyorgyicsek continues.
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.
In the Senior Hot Kitchen our boys and girls in green and gold came out with a silver medal for their three-course menu, which was created from scratch in six hours, and served to 110 people as part of the Restaurant of Nations. The full list of medallists in this category has not yet been announced, but it has been confirmed that in the first two days of the competition USA also won a silver medal, while Germany, Canada and Norway were awarded gold.
The Junior Team was awarded a bronze medal for their Cold Table Display and the team is now gearing up to win medals in the Hot Kitchen competition, which is taking place on Tuesday 9 October. In the Junior Hot Kitchen, the chefs need to create a two-course menu for 90 people as part of the Restaurant of Nations.
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.
Culinary Team SA are currently ranked 10th in the world and consists of seven junior members and 12 senior members. The team also won a bevy of medals at the Luxembourg World Cup in 2010 – seven silver medals in hot kitchen, seven silver medals in cold table, one silver medal in the individual showpiece section and three bronze medals in the Individual Entries.