July 2, 2019

HTA In-Service Apprentice Chef of the Year Competition 2019

Now in its 13th year, the HTA In-Service Apprentice Chef of the Year Competition sponsored again this year by Nedan and AFGRI Milling.

For the third consecutive year, Nedan and AFGRI Millings’ involvement in the competition is to further invest in the Culinary Youth of South Africa and to reach a broader and wider variety of Chefs and Students currently working in the industry and to expose them to the uses and diversity of Textured Vegetable Protein.

Eight recently qualified Young Apprentice Chefs were selected to take part in the competition representing their Training Establishments.

Contestant Name and the establishment / Hotel they represent:

    1. Arman Venter – Protea Hotel by Marriott Fire & Ice, Menlyn ( 2nd)
    2. Elaine Theunissen – Protea Hotel by Marriott Fire & Ice, Melrose Arch
    3. Gugu Ndhlovu – Protea Hotel by Marriott Fire & Ice, Melrose Arch
    4. Kaylee van der Merwe – Feedem Catering
    5. Tumelo Masango – African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection (Winner)
    6. Khanya Magula – Feedem Catering
    7. Nixon Mandudzi – Thabo Eco Hotel (3rd)
    8. Julius Msibi – HTA School of Culinary Art

The main objective of the competition, other than that of the educational and fun component offered through competitions, is to expose young Chefs, the next generation of industry leaders, to a wide range of products and to allow them to incorporate them into 4 or 5 Star Cuisine.

The winner was announced at the Cocktail Event held after the competition. This was attended by approximately 80 influential industry members, family members as well as other sponsors.

Selection of Finalists:

The finalists are industry-based Students who completed their final Block Release of the 3-year Chef Apprenticeship programme in 2018 at HTA. They were chosen as semi-finalists for this competition based on their overall performance and marks practically and theoretically over a total of 3 years. Following a cook-off held in May at HTA, the eight finalists were selected.

Judging Panel was comprised of Executive Chefs from leading Establishments:

Judge Convenor:

  • Chef Bruce Burns – former Director SA Chefs Association, General Manager HTA


  • Chef James Khoza – President SA Chefs Association & Exec Chef Sandton Convention Centre
  • Mr Johan Wessels – Managing Director AFGRI Milling
  • Chef Trevor Boyd – Manager Culinary Team SA & Exec Chef Michelangelo Hotel
  • Chef Coo Pillay – Director of SA Chefs Association & Exec Chef Protea OR Tambo
  • Chef Jodi-Ann Pearton – Owner Food Design Agency, former Director of SA Chefs Association and multiple culinary competition winner
  • Chef Marco Gaspar – Head Pastry Chef Palazzo Hotel, Montecasino

Each finalist was awarded a Nedan and AFGRI Milling embroidered Chef Jacket from Sigma Chef, a framed HTA Certificate and Medal and a range of gifts from sponsors.

The winner of this year’s competition is Tumelo Masango from African Pride Melrose Arch, Autograph Collection who won the main prize of R7500 from HTA, Snappy Chef Induction Unit, a Knife set from Furi Knives, stunning glassware from Maxwell & Williams, Rich’s Hamper and a SA Chefs Association Hamper.

2nd Place: Arman Venter from Protea Hotel by Marriott Fire & Ice, Menlyn

3rd Place: Nixon Mandudzi from Thabo Eco Hotel

In conclusion, the annual HTA In-Service Chef of the Year Competition has clearly established itself on South Africa’s Culinary Calendar and we look forward to hosting the competition for the 14th time next year.

Gifts and sponsors included:

  • Ready Veg – Vegetables for Competition
  • Protea Hotels by Marriott – Accommodation Voucher
  • Ciro Beverage Solutions – Coffee and Teas
  • Foodboys – Meat for Competition
  • Sir Fruit – Refreshments
  • Anvil – Gift Packages
  • Be Well – Gift Packages
  • Future Foods – Gift Packages
  • SA Chefs Association – Gift Packages
  • City & Guilds – Culinary Books
  • Snappy Chef – 1 x Induction Stove
  • KEE Ingredients – Cheese Hamper
  • Prestige – Furi Knife Roll
  • MIC – Gift Packages
  • Rich’s – Pastries
  • Sigma Chef – Uniforms
  • Ecolab – Chemicals
  • Cape Herb and Spice – Salt & Pepper Shakers
  • Sharp Edge Sharp Shooter –Knives
  • Lucky Star – Product Hamper


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