On October 18, six passionate young chefs left the country to represent South Africa against the best in the world at the IKA Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany.
IKA is the most prestigious and longest running gastronomic competition in the world and this year it’s taking place on 22-25 October 2016.
The Junior South African Culinary Team will compete against 19 other junior national teams. The six South African chefs, all under age 25, are:
- Zandria Platt
- Tayla Schou
- Thabang Masango
- Thapelo Aphane
- Jasmin Marsal
- Tevin Evans
Each has a special role in the IKA Culinary Olympics:
- Thapelo, Tayla and Thabang are responsible for the hot kitchen main courses
- Tayla and Tevin will take charge of the cold kitchen starters
- Zandria is the pastry chef creating the desserts
- Jasmin is the team assistant, helping all the others
The team was selected by representatives of the South African Chefs Association (SACA). Chef Klaus Beckmann is the team’s manager and mentor.
These young chefs have been training together regularly, honing their skills and sharpening their knives. They take part in local and international competitions, culinary demonstrations and high-profile events. By doing so they have raised much of their own funding for the competition in Germany.
National Young Chefs Training Programme (NYCTP)
SACA runs NYCTP for young, unemployed people to become chefs, giving them the support and training they need to succeed in South Africa’s growing hospitality industry.
Chef training allows trainees to qualify in any area they choose, from diet and nutrition to high-volume catering.
IKA Culinary Olympics
South Africa has had a National Culinary Team for over 30 years. The Junior South African Culinary Team was introduced in 2010.
Since competing in the IKA Culinary Olympics for the first time in 1980, the senior National Culinary Team has regularly taken part in culinary competitions across the globe.
At this year’s IKA competition, the junior team will be showcasing their skills with a unique and modern menu with a subtle South African twist.
Allister Esau, Senior Vice President of SACA, as well as Mogale Business Park General Manager and BOSASA Executive Chef, sent the young chefs off with his good wishes and confidence that they will do well.