Students were introduced by our Dynamic MC Wendy Coetzee to a stellar line-up of esteemed industry professionals who have no doubt raised the bar, sharing valuable insights to stimulate the mind.

A very warm welcome by Hotel Manager Willem du Toit and Executive Chef George Jardine, Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town who shared a judge’s perspective and more!

“I’m a learning machine and this is the place to learn.”

Tony Robbins

KitchenAid Africa, under the leadership of Dr. Susanne Reuther, has made immense contributions to the Young Stars, enabling the initiative to grow to its current success. Their evermore generous support has been crucial in the Young Stars continuity. What a wonderful showcase of their state-of-the-art food processors, blenders and more at the Launch Workshop at the Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town on Tuesday 28th March!  

Carina Pelzer (Lancewood), Guest Speaker Wisani Marivate (KitchenAid Africa Bio-Wheat Baker of 2019), Chuma Cetywayo (Chef, Cape Town Hotel School), Joshua Robinson (Pastry Chef, Chefs Training & Innovation Academy, CTIA) and Elmien Fourie of Lancewood 

Elmien Fourie & Carina Pelzer‘s informative and very popular Lancewood Q&A, winners were well rewarded with bountiful Lancewood hampers. Lancewood is a hugely impressive award-winning company dedicated to producing superior quality dairy products. Their state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities are strategically placed in close proximity to local farms on the Garden Route.

Each year the ‘Ultimate Lancewood Pastry Chef of the Year’ prize is announced – the coveted and desirable experience at Château de la Creuzette in Boussac, France for three months with a generous cash prize and flights courtesy of Lancewood.

International Hotel School Pastry Chef Lecturer Cody Dodgen and Lynn Naidoo (Managing Executive) with Natasha Page (Pastry Chef), Stuart Marinus (Baker), Brendon Newengo (Chef) and Marco Guerra (Beverage) ~ Wine Partner: Simonsig

Barry Ross HR VALOR Hospitality pointed the way to future success, how to write a winning CV and present yourself in crucial interviews.

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“When the charm wears off, there is only character left.”

Barry Ross, HR VALOR Hospitality

Wanda Cronjé CWM certainly shares her passion and deep well of experience. Each year the Cape Wine Academy invites all the Chefs and Beverage students to complete the SA Wine Course.

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Sommelier Jean Vincent Ridon of Sommeliers Academy encourages the students with his vast expertise on fine dining with exquisite wine and spirit service.

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In April, the culinary teams will partner with various wine estates to gain an in-depth understanding of the process of how wine is made. This will give them the skills and knowledge needed to embrace the mystique of wine, allowing them to select vintages and pairings that complement their three-course menus with greater confidence.

“The Cape Wine Academy is so excited to share once again an introduction to South African wine with these rising stars of the hospitality and tourism industry. We hope the course sparks a lifelong curiosity to learn more about our world-class Cape wines as well as inspiring many professional career opportunities that wine offers in South Africa and all over the world. We encourage the bright and talented 2023 candidates to keep swirling, sniffing and tasting their way up the wine education ladder as part of their professional and personal career path. These future leaders are highly valued ambassadors of South African wine.”

Heidi Duminy, CWA Principal

Superyacht Training Academy Team Jaco van Niekerk (Senior Lecturing and Development Trainer) with Bongani Zazaza (Beverage & Barista), Nolene Swart (Pastry Chef & Baker) and Yaeesh Fortune (Chef) ~ Wine Partner: Ernie Els Wines 

Brenda Wilkinson of Rio Largo Olive Estate, our charming ambassador to the intriguing world of South Africa’s thriving olive oil industry, introduced the SA Olive Association. Their passion of indigenous and pristine quality olive oils, which are among the finest in the world, is evident and perfect for use both in cooking and adding that final flourish to a dish. We know that olive oil is a necessity and vital for your health so on a daily basis be mindful of ingredients, check labels carefully and be thoughtful when it comes to what you consume.

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Award winning bag-in-box packaging maintains the freshness, best protecting extra virgin olive oil from oxidation. Brenda chats to Olive Oil Times on their decanter designs.
‘Try it, you’ll love it.’ See more…

The Hurst Campus Team Michelle Wiehahn (Pastry Chef), Tadiwanashe Mwendameberi (Chef), Rachel Cilliers (Beverage) Inge Esterhuizen (Baker) and Lee-Roy Arendse (Barista) with Academic Head Tessa Creamer ~ Wine Partner: Beyerskloof 

We welcomed Clement Pedro, Reaching for Young Stars Chef of 2011 and today’s role model to so many as celebrity Chef and Food Stylist, and Presenter.  Here with the False Bay TVET College and his lovely wife, Megan Daniels Pedro.

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“It’s true that all the world’s problems can be solved around the table sharing a meal, so make sure that your next meal is world changing, no pressure.”

Clement Pedro

False Bay TVET College Team Annadia Van Der Merwe (Conference & Hospitality Manager at False Bay TVET College), Janey-Ray Meyer (Beverage), Bilqees Domingo (Chef), Danielle Davenhill (Pastry Chef) and Lee Peploe (Beverage & Barista) ~ Wine Partner: Neethlingshof

Kelly-Anne Cronjé and Charlene Nieuwoudt of ClemenGold® took the chefs on a memorable South African journey of this unique and irresistible fruit that has been enjoyed as an everyday treat for the past 20 years!

ClemenGold® is a South African first and continues to be a sweet and aromatic soft citrus seedless mandarin fruit that is handpicked from selected growers around the world. As an internationally recognized innovative product, ClemenGold® is sure to inspire students to incorporate it into their menus, especially in a delightful ClemenGold® prize-winning dessert.

Capsicum Culinary Studio Team Munkeu Chuunga (Chef), Maverick Knight (Beverage), Bernice Bitsoane (Pastry Chef), Korben Davids (Chef), Ra-eesa van der Schyff (Baker), Kirsti Klein and Muhammad Mollagee ~ Wine Partner: KWV Wines

The vegetable kingdom is becoming increasingly vital with more people using vegetables than ever before, among them there are certain superfoods that we should use to advantage as they are an excellent source of anti-oxidants, selenium and phytochemicals.

For more than 70 years, Denny has been a Proudly South African household name, bringing the goodness of mushrooms to consumers across the country. Ruth Binneman of Denny Mushrooms shares fresh pickings from nature’s excellent bounty. 

Micarlo Malan announced the prize that the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) will fast track our young winning entrepreneur to achieve their goal of starting their own business!

CTIA – Chefs Training & Innovation Academy Team Gerald Gous (Beverage), Chef Amelia Matthee (Lecturer), Sibella Barnard (Chef), Etienne Coetzee (Barista), Deon Roets (National Academic Manager, Chefs Training & Innovation Group), Kgothallo Maganwe (Baker) and Joshua Robinson (Pastry Chef) ~ Wine Partner: Van Loveren Family Vineyards

CTIA – Chefs Training & Innovation Academy Joshua Robertson (Pastry Chef, Chefs Training & Innovation Academy) who won a signed copy of Nicci Robertson’s latest book Thrive, published by Penguin Random House. Penguin Random House SA

Penguin Random House Author Nicci Robertson of Thrive shares her passion for eating well. What should be one of life’s pleasures, for many people this is not the case as struggling with weight, nutrition-related health issues and low self-esteem can result in food being condemned as an ‘enemy’, to be conquered at all cost. Nicci Robertson understands, and uses her personal experience to guide readers towards improved health and wellbeing by taking a different approach to nutrition. 

In Thrive, she explains how to exchange bad habits for better ones, recognise and eliminate stress factors that can contribute to lifestyle diseases, and understand the role that proteins, carbs, fats, fibre and water play in keeping us healthy. She also unpacks some common nutrition facts and myths. Her message is clear throughout: when you eat the right foods in the right quantities, your body will respond positively and you will thrive both physically and mentally. The book includes over 80 mouthwatering family-friendly recipes that are packed with flavour and nutritionally balanced. 

Whether your goal is weight-loss or improved health, Nicci’s recipes will have you rethinking the concept of ‘diet food’ and heading for the kitchen with enthusiasm!

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Interpreter Ameera Baker with Siphindle Mboza (Baker) and Shagan Fouten (Pastry Chef) of I Love Coffee Training Academy and Sipumandla of Mount Nelson, A Belmond Hotel, Cape Town
~ Wine Partner: Stellenzicht Wines

Introducing Früt SA, a manufacturer and distributor of affordable, high-quality frozen fruits and vegetables, fruit juice concentrates, fruit syrups, nuts, seeds, and other related ingredients that promote a wholesome lifestyle, available all year round.

Wonderful to have Vivian van Nes and Marcelle Laubscher, the marketing co-ordinator of Früt SA, who guided the students through impressive range of the versatile and conveniently-packaged products – perfect for use in smoothies, juices, jams, sauces, ice creams, cocktails, baking, cooking, and more.

To preserve the quality of certain fruits and prevent darkening, ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C, is used as an antioxidant. Früt SA believes in keeping their products as natural as possible without any additional additives, allowing the natural deliciousness and nutrition to shine through.

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Dion Vengatass representing the SA Chefs Association galvanised the young chefs into what it takes to becoming an Olympic chef!
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Sisanda Mtekwana (Barista), Puseletso Ndlela (Pastry Chef), Chuma Cetywayo (Hot Chef), Thema Maleka (Baker), Shadia Mama (Beverage) and Heidi Janse Van Rensburg, Cape Town Hotel School, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology | #WeAreCPUT 
~ Wine Partner: La Motte

Heinie Fourie, a fifth generation farmer in Caledon, invites the students to use his matchless stone-ground unbleached natural flour, Bio-Wheat. An honest product that wins acclaim. This year, the bakers will present a sourdough, brioche and barley loaf for the Cook-Offs and Service Presentation in May, which is hosted annually by the International Hotel School. 

Distell Inter-Hotel Challenge multiple award-winner Togara Mabharani, master baker at I Love Coffee Bakery shared insights on the making of fine artisanal breads with Bio-Wheat and invited the bakers to an in-depth hands-on workshop in April at I Love Coffee to discuss judge’s expectations.
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Passion is the thing that will help you create the highest expression of your talent.

Larry Smith

We are all hugely appreciative of all our companies’ commitments and support, and this year we are thrilled to welcome Hartlief Group a division of Ohlthaver & List Group rooted in Namibia. Hartlief specializes in the supply of value-enhanced meat products, from farm to fork.

Manie Vlok joins us from Namibia for the day to introduce the company, which supplies the retail, wholesale, food service and hospitality trade. See more…

Hartlief Corporation Ltd Group of Companies consist of Hartlief Continental Meat Products (Pty) Ltd and Farmers Meat Market.

Wisani Marivate, One&Only Reaching for Young Stars ‘KitchenAid Africa Bio-Wheat Young Star Baker of 2019’ & Young Star Barista of 2020 ~ A leaf out of his ‘Harvard Centre for African Studies’ talk.

Wisani’s internship at One&Only Cape Town and five months internship at Winslow’s Tavern in Cape Cod has stood him in good stead. He is currently assisting Alto Winemaker Bertho van der Westhuizen, the fifth winemaker in the estate’s 100-year history who took the reins from his father, Schalk, in 2015.

Capsicum Culinary Studio Alumnus, Julietta e Silva Overmeyer enthusiastically defines the vital role of kitchen hygiene with thoughtful and valuable observations bringing this neglected topic to the fore. There are important objectives to bear in mind including reducing waste and where possible zero plastic on all fronts. See the Mount Nelson Reaching for Young Stars Youtube Channel for more…

Didactix offers the ScanPan Excellent Kitchen Practice winners a one-day training programme and on-line examination to achieve the international certificate in the Highfield Qualification Level 2 Award in Food Safety & Catering. This qualification is listed on the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency as a recognised Food Safety qualification to be able to work on ships and yachts. The Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 determines that all catering crew must have a recognised Food Safety qualification. Besides a valuable qualification to have should aspiring chef want to work on cruise ships and superyachts, the Highfield qualification is a Ofqual regulated qualification and is recognised in many countries. The UK and EU countries require that chefs who want to work in their countries, must have a recognised Food Safety Qualification. 

A pleasure to introduce Ms Pavitray (Pavs) Pillay from the WWF SA with her vital messages on sustainability and more. The new ‘Team Trophy’ for the Young Stars will be awarded at the gala awards dinner in June. Pavs is the Environmental Behaviour Change Practitioner & WWF-SASSI Manager Business Development Unit for WWF-SA. See more…

Baristas in training with Avanti Coffee SA – Tarryn van der Toorn of Avanti Coffee with student Barista candidates; Lee Peploe (False Bay TVET College), Sisanda Mtekwana (Cape Town Hotel School), Lee-Roy Arendse (The Hurst Campus), Bongani Zazaza (Superyacht Training Academy) and Etienne Coetzee (CTIA).

Tarryn van der Toorn & Wayne Abrahams of Avanti SA provide a practical overview to the barista candidates each year and invite students to further training sessions at the Cape Town Hotel School, Granger Bay Campus, gearing the candidates towards a winning presentation in May. This category, first introduced in 2020, is fast becoming a big draw with competent and stylish coffee presentation in demand. 

Cape Town Hotel School Heidi Janse van Rensburg, Lidas Ncube, Bongani Tyhali and The Hurst Campus Tessa Creamer 

Announcing the TEAMS:


KWV’s fine history and superb world renowned award-winning Brandy and expertly crafted extraordinary Cruxland Gin provides inspiration for scintillating cocktails.

In April, KWV invites the culinary academy beverage and chef students at their riveting House Of Fire in Paarl and KWV Emporium where they will taste and learn more about the making of fine spirits and wines.

Special thanks to Janet Pillai CEO and Founder of Multilayer Trade Corporation – MLT Car Hire & Tours for making these tours to Stellenbosch and Paarl possible with their efficient and hugely comfortable transfers. 

Brett Nussey of the innovative Superyacht Training Academy will once again host the beverage students to an in-depth cocktail making class at their popular campus in the V&A Waterfront with KWV Brandy & Cruxland Gin. 

Cooktastic Team Cooktastic Founder Mbuyi Jongqo with Gugulethu Gamede (Beverage), Mbongo Sikani (Pastry Chef), Nosiphiwo Buyeye (Chef), Priscilla Mazibuko (Pastry Chef), Ayabonga Tiso (Chef) and Ntsikelelo Sam (Baker) ~ Wine Partner Kleine Zalze Wines

A pleasure to have Belinda Jacobs of The Pinotage Association showcase the ABSA Top 10. Pinotage is a cultivar that is unique to  South Africa – a tale that is well worth telling and a wine that has taken its place among top reds of the world! #ProudlySA.

AL&CD Ashley, Avanti SA, Beyerskloof, Bio-Wheat, Brabantia, Cape Wine Academy, Château de la Creuzette, ClemenGold®, Cruxland Gin, Denny Mushrooms, Didactix, Ernie Els Wines, Farmers Meat Market, Früt SA, Global Knives, Hartlief Group, KWV Brandy, KWV wine, KitchenAid Africa, Kleine Zalze Wine Estate, La Motte Wine Estate, Lancewood, MLT Car Hire & Tours, National Youth Development Agency, Neethlingshof, Penguin Random House, Petals Group, Rio Largo Olive Estate, SA Chefs Association, SA Olive Association, Scanpan, Simonsig Wine Estate, Sommeliers Academy, Standard Bank, Stellenzicht Wines, The Pinotage Association, Winslow’s Tavern, Van Loveren Family Vineyards and Von Geusau.

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