SA PORK with Marieta Human

JUDGE Marieta Human, representing South African Pork, has a wealth of experience working in the areas of Consumer Science, Nutritional Advice, and Food Marketing.

She has won numerous Industry Awards in the fields of Advertising, Marketing, and Communication, one of them the sought after Pork Industry Gold Medal for the most outstanding contribution to the growth and wellbeing of the Pork Industry. 

In the most recent years of her career, she has developed a special interest in the innovation and product development of preservative-  and additive-free food products and recipe development.

She shares with us some of her insights into a successful entry for this competition, with a few helpful hints based on her experience as a judge in the previous years’  Distell Inter Hotel Challenge and One&Only Reaching for Young Stars.  


  • Specific
  • Measurable 
  • Achievable 
  • Realistic
  • Time-lined

 Have a written plan with a timetable: 

  • Communicate the plan to all involved
  • Leave enough time to practise your starter & main in one go 
  • Sit down, taste, evaluate, get feedback

Help your mentor  help you perfect your craft:

  • Practise as often as you can
  • See what you can take away to create a single minded masterpiece
  • Simplicity, perfected = a winning dish   
  • The discipline of practising will make you confident
  • Communicate with your assistant
  • Put your mind and body in your genius state-focused 
  • Enjoy who you will become through this amazing journey   

The Pork industry is a great success story in South Africa, taking its place as one of the most consistently excellent pork producing nations of the world. Right now, pork is one of the most healthy, versatile, and reasonable options for family meals, incredibly budget-friendly.


Chefs to prepare the main course dish using Loin of Pork and Bacon. Get this right first.

Loin of Pork excludes the fillet, called the “Tenderloin” in America, Australia and a few European countries.  

  • The candidate chef and mentor can choose a bone-in or boneless cut. 
  • It can be rolled, skin on or skin off. 
  • It can be loin cutlets (with bone) or loin steaks (boneless).
  • It can be a butterfly steak.
  • It can be a loin rack. 

All these loin cuts can be skin-on or skin-off. If the skin is on, it must be either crispy or meltingly soft.

The pork loin component can have a pocket with a stuffing in it and can be glazed just before serving, to enhance appearance, taste and interest.  

The bacon component can be streaky, back bacon, or any bacon of your choice either used together with the pork loin as a wrapping (barding), stuffing, larding, crumbing, topping or as an ingredient for making a bacon flavoured sauce or jus. 

It can also be used separately from the loin component together with the vegetables or fruit or starch that will accompany the pork loin on the plate.   

Seasoning:  Basic raw pork cut seasoning with salt, pepper, spices, herbs, brining, marinades, dry or wet rubs, or other seasoning methods. Keep in mind incorporating bacon into the loin cut will add some saltiness to the dish.

Judges will be looking for the flavour development through the chosen cooking method: Searing/browning/caramelization or other flavour development method used to achieve texture and intensify the meaty taste. This can be pre-searing before cooking, or reverse searing at the end of the cooking process

Internal meat temperature:  Not overcooked or underdone when cooking process is completed, served at optimum temperature. 

Remember mouthfeel, chew-ability, melt-in-the-mouth aspect, taste and flavour of the protein component. Each bite, should be a tasty mouthful with rich umami flavour, taste and texture, creating a “wanting more” desire. 

The Judges will be looking for good usage of bacon as an enhancement to the dish and gravy, sauce or jus to serve with the pork.  

Ultimately focus on flavour, taste, texture, consistency and temperature.

Practise many times…

See… for inspiration!

Cover pic: Marieta Human with Kyle Hickman, Executive Sous Chef One&Only Cape Town.

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