The pork (neck steaks, cubed) is marinated in yoghurt flavoured with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, paprika and garlic. The cubes of threaded on to rosemary skewers and when cooked, are served with the traditional Argentinian sauce called Chimmichurri â a herby mixture of parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar and olive oil.
A bulb of fennel is sliced and drizzled with cream and olive oil. Garlic, salt and pepper are added and cheese goes over the top. The fennel is baked until tender and cheese is golden and bubbly.Â
Can use Plain Khoisan salt or Seaweed salt to enhance this dish.
Prep time: 15 mins /Cook time: 1 hour /Serves: 4 â 6
You will need:
- 1 large organic chicken
- 25ml extra virgin olive oil
- a generous handful of fresh thyme, washed
- 2 large lemons
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of Terra Madre âRockinâ Chilliâ sauce or two large red chillies, finely chopped
- 250ml Blanc de Noir orÂ dry white wine
Preheat your oven to 220Â°C. Wash off the chicken and pat it dry with paper towel. Crush or grate the garlic cloves and zest both lemons before extracting their juice. Keep the juiced lemon halves to stuff the chicken with.
In a mixing jug or bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, crushed garlic and chilli sauce and season to taste. Using a sharp knife, remove the preening glands (the two small yellowish nodules) from the chickenâs tail and loosen the skin over the breasts to create small pockets. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the thyme and as many lemon halves as you can make fit. Place the chicken in a roasting dish and spoon over the marinade, being careful to poke the garlic and chilli into the pockets between breast and skin. Set the chicken breast-side down in the dish and pour the Blanc de Noir around the bird. Cover the entire dish with foil and roast in a preheated 220Â°C oven for 20 minutes before removing the foil and turning the oven down to 180Â°C for the remaining 40 minutes. The wine in the bottom of the dish will thicken with the roasting juices and get syrupy â perfect for mopping up with fresh bread. If halfway through cooking the dish requires more liquid, simply add in more wine or a little water and continue to roast.
Potatoes are thinly sliced on a mandolin and layered across a flatbread base spread with thick cream cheese. The slices are seasoned with sage, salt and olive oil and baked in a hot oven until crisp and golden. A ball of creamy burrata cheese is torn over the top.
Use Khoisan fine salt lightly sprinkled.
Marinate Â olives in a mixture of salt, olive oil, finely chopped garlic, lemon zest and rosemary. Leave the olives in the marinade overnight. Olives can be preserved in salt â Â Salt is an important ingredient when it comes to the process. The olives can be placed between layers of mixed coarse salt.
Sardines are drizzled with olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon, herbs and salt and pepper before being grilled over the coals.
Khoisan flakes, fine salt or coarse salt can be used in this recipe. The Sardines can be placed on a bed of salt then covered with herbs of your choice and salt then baked in a 180 degree oven for 45 minutes.
In Spain, the traditional way to cook prawns is to heat a large flat griddle pan and scatter it with salt. The prawns are grilled directly on top of the salt with a lid sometimes being placed over them to steam in the salt.Â
Try mixing Khoisan Plain and coarse together then apply as suggested above.
For the sixth year the search is on for tomorrowâs chefs, wine stewards and bakers. The Distell Inter Hotel Challenge was launched in a series of regional training workshops, glittering gala dinners at which the limited edition, Winners All was unveiled. A fabulous window illustrating the hotel industry’s huge social commitment to our wonderful country. The Candidates of 2018 were introduced at the Beverly Hills in KwaZulu-Natal, Sun International The Maslow in Gauteng, TAJ Cape Town, and finally at The CTICC. These were red-letter events for the hospitality industry. Behind the fun of the competition and the glamour of the hotels, lies a strong mentorship programme creating a solid national base of top quality chefs, wine stewards and bakers. This in turn is playing a huge role in South Africaâs tourism industry.Â
Darryl Erasmus who heads up the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, acknowledges the very real economic need to actively support and participate in the tourism industry, particularly with job creation in the hospitality world, for the future economic wealth of the country. He points out that the State President reinforced this need in this yearâs State of the Nation address.
âEvents and programmes such as the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge, stretch our hotels and hospitality professionals to innovate, and come up with new and creative ways to continuously enhance the standards of the industry,â he says. âThis is the only way to grow our destinationâs global competitiveness.â
According to the UNWTO, the World Tourism Organisation, global tourism grew by 7% in 2017. This translates into 1,322 billion people travelling around the world. However, Africa has only managed to attract 7,8% of the market share.
âWe still have much to do,â says Erasmus. âThis unique Challenge achieves something way beyond being a fun and healthy competition between the different groups and teams.â
The launch events staged this month included training and product orientation workshops in each region. Throughout the run-up to the competition and during the actual âcook-offâ the candidates, all selected by the participating hotels to compete and represent the name of their own hotel, are mentored by top-ranking chefs, bakers and sommeliers. During the orientation held throughout March, the candidates have also enjoyed the benefit of talks, demonstrations and lectures from senior lecturers from various culinary academies and top executive chefs, sommeliers, bakers, food authors and hospitality industry experts who have already found success in South Africa and around the world. Mentorship is the key factor. Starting with the workshops, the candidates are taken through a rigorous education programme that includes food preparation and selection, plating and presentation, kitchen hygiene, nutrition and even food growing. The wine stewards were similarly introduced to the essential skills of wine and spirit selections and presentation. Outside of the food and wine subjects, the candidates were also exposed to some business basics including communication and finance.
The candidates are now in the planning, practice and preparation phase as they count down the weeks to the challenging June âcook-offsâ that will be hosted at various hotels and culinary academies around the country. The three top spots â âChef of the Yearâ, âBaker of the Yearâ and âWine Steward of the Yearâ will be announced at a gala dinner to be hosted in Cape Town on 04 August this year.
THE COMPETING HOTELS
IN GAUTENG: The Da Vinci Hotels and Suites of The Legacy Group; De Hoek Country Hotel of PMR Hospitality; The Palace of the Lost City from Sun International; there is a Tsogo Sun teamed compiled of The Sandton Sun and The Palazzo who have joined forces;Â
IN KWAZULU NATAL:Â The Beverly Hills from Tsogo Sun; the Durban International Convention Centre; the Protea Hotel by Marriott Edward; the Protea Hotel by Marriott Umhlanga Ridge; the Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani;Â
IN THE WESTERN CAPE: the Arabella Hotel and Spa by African Pride Hotels; the Belmond Mount Nelson; Cape Grace; the Cape Town International Convention Centre; Ellerman House of Relais & ChĂ˘teaux; the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve; the Marriott Crystal Towers; Newmark Hotels, Lodges & Reserves; NH The Lord Charles Hotel; One&Only Cape Town; The Royal Portfolio – The Silo; there are also two combined Tsogo Sun teams, the first being the Southern Sun Cape Sun together with CBD Interior and the other team being Southern Sun The Cullinan together with the Southern Sun Waterfront; the Spier Hotel; Sun International The Table Bay; The Taj Cape Town; The 12 Apostles Hotel & Spa; The Vineyard;Â The Westin.
A formidable and highly experienced panel of judges has been lined up to judge all three categories for the competition. The regional bread judges include Marieta HumanÂ (JHB, CT & KZN),Â Manfred Reinhart (JHB), Adam Robinson (KZN) and Jac Kolver (Cape Town).Â The regional food judges are Heinz BrunnerÂ (JHB, CT & KZN),Â Marieta HumanÂ (JHB, CT & KZN),Â Manfred Reinhart (JHB),Â Kevin Gibbs (CT) and Fatima Stanley (KZN). Wine Stewards service will be judged by Sandy HarperÂ (JHB, CT & KZN)Â and Sommelier Germain LehodeyÂ (JHB, CT & KZN). The last category is Regional Food, Wine and Spirit Pairing and that will be judged by Chris de Klerk (JHB, CT & KZN), Craig Cormack (CT) and Karen Bloom (KZN).
PARTNERS OF THE CHALLENGE
Overall sponsor:Â Distell who supplied both wine and spirits throughout the entire lead-up to the cook-off and at the various events and gala dinners: N1 Restaurant Suppliers, Lancewood, Rio Largo Olive Oil, Bio-Wheat stone ground flour, Avanti Coffee, Khoisan Sea Salt and Von Geusau Chocolates.
THE PRIZES: The âChef of the Yearâ will be flown to Amsterdam to take up a three week intense mentorship experience with three top restaurants â a prize that has been rigorously created and sponsored by NH Collection. The intense and highly sought after mentorship experience includes a week in the Vermeer Restaurant under the wing of Michelin star chef Chris Naylor at the Barbizon Palace hotel, a week at the legendary culinary museum and Restaurant, DâVijff Vlieghen and finally a week at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky at The White Room where Jan Boerma leads the team that carries out his vision in Amsterdam; led by the young yet experienced Chef de Cuisine ArturoÂ Dalhuizen,Â MaĂŽtre Richard Eerhardt and Sommelier Isabel van Bueren.
For the âWine Steward of the Yearâ Distell has created an enviable travel experience into the world of wine and spirits. On the itinerary in London, a stay at the superb The Montague on the Gardens Red Carnation and the opportunity to work with the top Sommeliers at 67 Pall Mall in the heart of St James, then travel to Scotland with visits to top Distell distilleries; Deanston and Bunnahabhain and continue on to France; Cognac and Bordeaux.Â
An enormous range of superb prizes from KitchenAid Africa; particularly to the winning âBio-Wheat Baker of the Yearâ, the legendary Artisan Mixer to the baker while their hotel will win the commercial Professional Design Mixer! In fact all winners will be treated to the finest iconic KitchenAid by Dr Susanne Reuther, who has been a stalwart supporter of the Distell Inter Hotel Challenge from inception and who does not allow one single candidate to leave the awards evening without some tangible recognition. Susanneâs support is very valuable and so much appreciated.Â
Meaningful bursaries that will be awarded at the National Winner Gala event in August have been contributed byÂ Hospitality Property Fund, Cape Wine Academy, and the South African Sommeliers Association. Awards and prizes from highly desirable ScanPan and Global Knives SA from AL&CD Ashley. Cash prizes from Avanti Coffee, books from Penguin Random House South Africa, The Platterâs Guide and Riedel Glassware.Â
What is so outstanding is that British Airways will be flying the winning Executive Chef and partner to Cape Town where they will journey for a two-night stay at remarkable Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, a unique floral and marine eco-paradise on the southern tip of Africa.Â
To raise awareness for the StreetSmart campaign this year; the raffle that will be drawn at the gala awards at the Belmond Mount Nelson includes a fabulous win from Minor Hotels. They will be presenting a prize week away for two to the stunning The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara with return flights kindly sponsored by British Airways.
BACKGROUND TO THE INTER HOTEL CHALLENGE and SHOWCOOK:
The Challenge has become a red-letter annual event on the hotel industry calendar. 2018 is the sixth time this event is being held. It is a unique event, being both a first in Cape Town and a first in South Africa. Its success has labeled it as the ‘Oscars of the hotel world’Â and it has been described as a defining event for the hospitality industry in South Africa. Although a competition of glitz and glamour, its true role has serious and deep-rooted repercussions in that it provides a vehicle and a public platform for creating an environment of mentorship for the countryâs hospitality industry.
Partners of Showcook.com, Annette Kesler and Chania Morritt-Smith, the high-energy organisers and founders of the Inter Hotel Challenge programme, believe the most important achievement of the annual event is that hotels are persuaded to go to great lengths to encourage and mentor young talent in an industry that plays a crucial role in the South Africaâs tourist industry.Â
âThe hotel industry is the heartbeat of tourism,â says Annette. âIt is essential that we maintain the high standards of our hospitality industry but we also have to make sure those same high standards are maintained going into the future. In order to ensure that, we need to have a strong and sustained skills and upliftment programme where our young talent is mentored and given the opportunity to grow.â
Annette and Chania believe the Inter Hotel Challenge contributes tangibly to the hotel industry itself.
âIt is a unique event where hotels become a unified force. Although the industry is highly competitive, at the end of the day they all want the same thing â to ensure a strong and viable hospitality industry to encourage and increase tourism in South Africa. Our best chance of achieving that is by doing it together.â
Prizes for the three top winners are astonishing, over the years winners have been invited to Long Beach Mauritius, Taj Mahal Palace India, the Shangri-La in Dubai, https://www.alcronhotel.com in Prague and The Marriott Ritz-Carlton Hotel and JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai offering them the opportunity of working with top chefs and sommeliers in the very best of international hotels and restaurants. However, the sheer nature of the mentorship approach gives every single competing candidate an important item for their future career profiles. Many careers are forged as a result of the Inter-Hotel challenge with the best of the talent setting off on a path of career growth, either by being promoted within their current places of employment or by taking up posts in international hospitality venues or by taking on positions in South Africaâs leading hotels, safari lodges, restaurants and other hospitality outlets. Over the six years, many of the participating candidates, whether they have won or not, have made a name for themselves by working in the industry, by becoming ambassadors for the hospitality industry abroad and often by becoming authors, television personalities or leaders on social networks. Importantly, many of them have gone on to mentor their own new intake of youngsters.
The Distell Inter Hotel Challenge is in every true sense of the phrase, a programme of far-reaching business and social responsibility objectives.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Cell: (079) 113-8329
Be Creative, passionate and aware while cooking this year. Choose local ingredients wherever possible and Good quality. Khoisan is the top hand-harvested natural sea salt harvested, dried and packaged with care to enhance your cooking as well as to be used around the kitchen and bathrooms. We wish you a peaceful and prosperous year.