The Gauteng regional finals of the Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year took place on the 26th of July, with chefs competing to see who would make it to the finals in September. After showing what they’re made of in a mystery basket challenge, the Gauteng chefs who’ll be competing against chefs from Cape Town and Durbs in the finals are:

Senior Category:

  • Lesego Sibanda from Sun International Time Square
  • Hanno van Eeden from Diep in die Berg

Junior Category:

  • Kabelo Molosiwa from Protea Hotels by Marriott OR Tambo Airport
  • Terror Molebeli Lekopa from Saxon Hotel

Team of 4 Category (consisting of a manager, two chefs and a waiter):

  • Protea Hotels by Marriott OR Tambo Airport (led by Coovashen Pillay)
  • Ivory Manor (led by Liza Strauss)

The Unilever Food Solutions Chef of the Year competition is the oldest culinary competition in South Africa and this year’s theme is Where Legends are Born. It’s a fitting theme for a competition with a winners roll-call that reads like a who’s who of some of SA’s top chefs! Entrants in the Senior and Junior categories created recipes using Unilever Food Solutions products for a starter, main course, and dessert, with the best entries making it through to the regional finals.

Tasting Judges in the Junior Category in the Junior category were Adrian Vigus-Brown (Chairman of the SA Chefs Junior Forum), Kelvin Joel (owner of Johannesburg Culinary & Pastry School) and Jelele Mokhine (Executive Chef Protea Midrand) with Siya Kobo as Kitchen Judge. Judging in the Senior category were seasoned chefs Martin Kobald (Vice President of the World Association of Chefs Societies) and Philippe Frydman (Restaurateur and past chairman of the Academy of Chefs) with James Khoza (Executive Chef at Sandton Convention Centre) as Kitchen Judge.

Congratulating the regional winners, Remco Bol, MD of Unilever Food Solutions SA, says, “Our Chef of the Year entrants always deliver something special, highlighting the exceptional standards of South Africa’s vibrant culinary industry. Well done to the Gauteng winners – and best of luck in the finals. We trust you enjoyed the experience of the mystery basket cook-off and that we will see you back in the competition next year.”

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