Distell Inter Hotel Challenge

Showcook today focuses on youth, the role of mentorship, their bright future in the hospitality world. A world that knows no borders nor boundaries. 

In this unprecedented time, we need now, more than ever, to keep the huge values of education, motivation, and inspiration alive and flourishing. www.showcook.com Will become the dedicated 2020 platform for every aspect of our Distell Inter Hotel Challenge programme going forward. An easily accessible go-to site for all our young candidates on the culinary, wine and spirits sides. They will include a wide spectrum of lecturers, speakers and guest chefs from the hospitality world, specialists in their fields. Our aim is to bring everyone together allowing a fruitful dialogue for an initiative that will forge ahead and continue to offer unwavering support for young people. We have noted those who have benefited hugely over the past 7 1/2 years, providing them the springboard to excel in their careers, their success becoming a vision of hope.

“It is an honour for Distell to back the Inter Hotel Challenge for the eighth year running, demonstrating our commitment as a company to skills development and transfer. We believe that this is essential to the successful progression of the hospitality and tourism industry in South Africa, honing the incredible talent and ability of our country’s young chefs, sommeliers and wine stewards,” says Richard Rushton, the Distell Group’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

“We in the industry are at the forefront of shaping perceptions and building the hospitality trade beyond its current strengths.  This is what makes the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge such an exciting and progressive platform. It encourages the pooling of talent, skill and resources to create greater impact.”

“This is exactly what the South African hospitality industry needs right now,” commented Ashleigh Christie, Regional HR Director – Africa Minor Hotels. “There is so much undiscovered talent out there, all waiting for the chance to shine! We actively want to be a part of the process that finds and grows our new talent for tomorrow’s hospitality industry. Those of us in the industry should all strive to play a role.”

One of the important outcomes of the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is the camaraderie, the coming together of the hotel industry in South Africa. Individuals and teams who normally see each other as competition, here they join forces, collaborating and generously sharing their knowledge, skills and foresight. 

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When the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge began nearly 7 1/2 years ago we introduced a major upliftment and mentoring programme, which takes place over many months. One of the most inspiring aspects was the three-day ‘Grape to Glass’ when our Wine Stewards travelled from all around South Africa to the Cape. Many of our young candidates having never seen the sea or the mountains, nor of course the glorious vineyards of many of Distell’s great estates. So imagine the excitement there was having this three-day programme, including lectures by Harry Melck, Former Principal of Cape Wine Academy and Jean-Vincent Ridon of Sommeliers Academy with exams and certification. Plus a special tour to Van Ryn’s Distillery and James Sedgwick Distillery, being introduced to knowledgeable experts on brandy, whisky, sherry and cocktails giving them the benefit of their expertise. And, of course, the cherry on the top, a day out to the exquisite winelands to meet with the cellar masters and winemakers of some of Distell’s most prestigious wine estates. A rare experience indeed for our aspiring Sommeliers, to discuss the three chosen wines for wine and food pairing.

This year, the Wine Stewards will continue to meet in virtual sessions, having access to the Cape Wine Academy and Sommeliers Academy certificate courses online. They’ve been introduced to distinguished cellarmasters and talented winemakers from glorious wine estates including Allesverloren, Durbanville Hills, Fleur Du Cap, Nederburg, Plaisir de Merle, Pongrácz and Zonnebloem having enjoyed online sessions with private Zoom meetings. Particular highlights with Master Distillers, Andy Watts of multiple award-winning Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky and Three Ships Whisky, and Marlene van der Westhuizen of Van Ryn’s Brandy.

See more here… https://showcook.com/blog/category/grape-to-glass/

The Skills Exchange Development Programme took place from 17th – 21st August, with an outstanding line-up of on-line guest speakers, chefs, bakers, sommeliers and concierges from Cape Cod, Napa Valley, Singapore, Dordogne and Boussac in France, London, Scotland and Ireland – players that oil the wheels of the grand hotels chatting on Zoom to our candidates from the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge and One&Only Reaching for Young Stars! See more on Showcook.com

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