South African National Culinary Team Presented with Springbok Blazers at Exclusive Dinner

A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about the South African National Culinary Team and the delicious meal – prepared by them – that I was fortunate enough to enjoy. (Follow this link to read more.) Here’s an update on what they’ve been up to.

The South African National Culinary Team will be participating in the 2016 IKA Culinary Olympics from 22 to 25 October in Erfurt, Germany, against 32 countries for the highest accolades the culinary industry has to offer.

As any other Olympic athlete would, this team – of seven extremely dedicated and talented chefs – trains relentlessly (with no remuneration) in the months leading up to the most prestigious culinary competition on the global culinary calendar.

The South African National Culinary Team are getting in as much practice as possible

On Monday, 20 June, the team presented their three-course Olympic menu to 110 extremely fortunate invited guests at a glamourous dinner held at 3SIXTY Lounge at Montecasino.

What set this practice apart from previous times that the team had presented their meal was the format of the evening. The conditions under which the team will be competing were replicated at the dinner and the meal was served restaurant-style just at it will be for the Olympic judges and patrons at the Restaurant of Nations in the Olympic Village during the IKA Culinary Olympics. In line with Culinary Olympic rules, the team had six hours to prepare their official three-course menu.

The South African National Culinary Team’s Olympic Hot Kitchen menu features:

  • Starter: Cape Crayfish ‘Malay’ – poached crayfish, pressed carrot terrine, carrot mayonnaise and Malay curry sauce.
  •  Main Course: Springbok ‘Masakhane’ – pan-roasted loin of springbok, rolled veal sweetbreads, red cabbage and cider purée, savoy cabbage and Boulangére potato.
  • Dessert: Textured Splash of Raspberry, Rose, Coconut & White Chocolate – coconut sand, coconut sorbet, coconut sponge, rose jelly, rose meringue, raspberry mousse, and raspberry jelly.

The guest list included:

  • Tthe proud families of some team members,
  • Culinary team alumni (members of the first South African team to compete at the 1980 Olympics) Wolfgang Heiduck and Manfred Muellers, and
  • SACA President, Stephen Billingham.

Billingham presented the team with their official Springbok blazers after the dinner in a ceremony fuelled with emotion and pride. The objective of this was not only to showcase the team’s culinary prowess but to garner the national support they so richly deserve for flying the South African flag at Olympic level. These men and women are every bit as important to South Africa as the runners, swimmers and other athletes who have achieved the same level of greatness in their chosen sport.