Tsogo Sun serves up five finalists

Bradley Harry


Keep your eye on Tsogo Sun


The eagerly anticipated second annual Inter Hotel Challenge, the hospitality industry’s ultimate food and wine pairing challenge, is well under way and Tsogo Sun has five candidates competing in the finals.

This year, the Inter Hotel Challenge collaborated with Cape Legends Fine Wines and has gone nationwide, launching in Cape Town, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal with an initial 21 hotels participating. The hotel industry, which plays a largely unsung role in upliftment, training and nurturing of young people, welcomed the opportunity of joining the challenge, furthering the aims of encouraging a culture of mentorship and inspiration in the SA hospitality industry.

The challenge provides young hopefuls with the opportunity to showcase their talent, creativity and enthusiasm and to, ultimately, be recognised as promising chefs and sommeliers within South Africa.

June saw the cook-offs in three provinces. “Tsogo Sun is proud of the innovation, talent and sheer determination demonstrated by the five candidates who reached the finals,” says Kevin Page, Tsogo Sun’s Director of Development. In Gauteng, Maxwell Nyati, representing the luxurious 54 on Bath hotel dazzled judges with his innovative wine pairings. Currently a waiter at the Level Four restaurant, Maxwell attended the Cape Wine academy and completed a Foundation of Wine course at the University of Stellenbosch. He further complimented his education by attending wine evenings where winemakers presented their wines and the best pairings.

Southern Sun Hyde Park Sandton’s Prince Mabena, candidate wine steward, and Hamilton Moyo, candidate chef, proved to be a formidable team at the cook-offs. Prince’s passion for wine and Hamilton’s zealous love for food, which was nurtured from a young age by his sister, stood them in good stead.

In KwaZulu Natal, Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani’s Sous Chef Thokozani Mpungose has also reached the finals. Drawing on his experience gained at Tsogo Sun, he has learned and crafted his trade through perseverance and experience and aims to own his own restaurant one day.

Chef de Partie Bradley Harry, Southern Sun The Cullinan & Southern Sun Waterfront’s finalist in the fairest Cape, grew up in Grassy Park in Cape Town. Inspired by his favourite chefs, Bradley studied at the renowned Cape Town Hotel School before joining the Southern Sun The Cullinan team.

The winning wine steward will have the unique opportunity to work with Tsogo Sun’s top sommeliers in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. Other prizes include bursaries, master classes, a variety of mentorships and memberships and kitchen equipment.

The winners will be announced at a black tie dinner in Cape Town on 25 July, where all initial 21 hotels will be participating. A highlight of the evening is the elaborate ‘Gold’ themed table décor competition.

Wine and food lovers will be able to sample the various competing food-and-wine pairings at each of the 21 participating hotels during the first two weeks of July: look out for the Candidate Menu Showcase at each property.

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