OK, so we may suck at Olympic sports, but at least we can cook.
Team South Africa has returned home to a heroes’ welcome after winning five medals at the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung (IKA) in Erfurt, Germany. These include a gold medal in the Hot Kitchen (warm dishes) category, three silver medals and one bronze in the Cold Kitchen(cold dishes) category. The IKA, commonly known as the “Culinary Olympics”, is the oldest and most prestigious international culinary competition in the world and the first competition took place in 1900. Today, the event has grown to more than 750 chefs from 34 nations, and has events for individual competitors as well as national, regional, student, and military teams.
Team South Africa comprises 11 chefs and two logistics officials, and is managed by Garth Shnier (Executive Chef at Sandton Sun Hotel in Johannesburg). Executive Chef of Vergelegen Wine Estate situated in Helderberg, Henrico Grobbelaar, also individually won a silver medal for his contribution.
Although they are partly sponsored, none of the team members get paid for their involvement in the competition, and have to cover their costs with ticket sales and personal funds. If you would like more details of who the team members were, click here.
Team SA came first in the Restaurant of Nations component of the competition (also known as the Hot Kitchen), earning the Team their first gold medal in this competition in 16 years. For this event the team was required to prepare a three course meal for 110 people that reflected South Africa’s unique cuisine. Here’s what they made:
* a crayfish tomato terrine starter with curried crayfish flan, butter poached crayfish, mustard dill cured salmon trout, corn salad and a cucumber raita;
* a main course of beetroot and thyme-marinated springbok loin, creamed barley with juniper braised springbok shoulder and smoked porcini mushrooms, truffled celeriac purée, with a beetroot and pomegranate jus; and
* a uniquely South African dessert of naartjie and chocolate malva pudding, naartjie sorbet and a mascarpone and Van Der Hum macerated fruit slice.
Let’s hope that Team SA’s win boosts South Africa’s profile as a rocking fine dining destination ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Well done, Team SA!
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