Tsogo Sun’s 54 on Bath, Beverly Hills, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and their combined Cape team (The Cullinan, Southern Sun Waterfront and Southern Sun Cape Sun) were among the 25 top participants from across the Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Port Elizabeth.
Recognised as the hospitality industry’s Hotel Oscars and upliftment initiative in food and wine pairing, the Challenge provides mentorship, inspiration and skills development to talented and promising young chefs and wine stewards in South Africa.
Proud Tsogo Sun winners on the night were Aphiwe Mzongwana from the Southern Sun Waterfront who scooped the coveted ‘Most Promising’ Candidate Chef award and the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani’s Mduduzi Shabangu, runner-up in the Wine Steward category. The Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani also tied first for the prestigious ‘Best Team’ award. Mukhtar Alli from the Beverly Hills was awarded third place in the Chef category.
A highlight of the evening was the elaborate décor and ‘Shades of a Diamond’-themed table settings conceptualised by each individual hotel. The Beverly Hills scooped the award for the table that most ‘Reflects the ethos of the hotel’ and Tsogo Sun’s Cape team (The Cullinan, Southern Sun Cape Sun and Southern Sun Waterfront) won the ‘Table you most want to dine at’ award in spectacular fashion.
“Our finalists and winners really shone in this year’s inspirational competition, showcasing their talent, creativity and determination to be the best in the industry. We are proud of the role our executive chefs and sommeliers are playing in mentoring and training our young staff and helping them reach their full potential”, commented Kevin Page, Director of Development at Tsogo Sun.
Tsogo Sun’s prize for the winning wine steward, Mpho Masiu from the Cape Grace & Lomond, is a unique Cape Winelands experience under the expert guidance of Tsogo Sun Regional Sommelier, Georgio Meletiou. She will also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend two prestigious wine auctions and tastings with the Tsogo Sun delegation and participate in the bidding.
“Tsogo Sun prides itself on offering exceptional food and wine pairing experiences in our restaurants. It’s all about exploring the right combination of flavours and personal preferences of our guests, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and passion with Mpho”, said Georgio Meletiou who took home the first ever ‘Man of the Match’ award in the hotel stakes!