November 6, 2019

Next stop, Stuttgart!

The SA Chefs Olympic Culinary team has only weeks left until it faces the world’s top chefs at the 25th IKA Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany. Susan Reynard counts down.

It’s the final countdown for members of the Olympic Culinary Team. They are wrapping up their final training sessions, events, appearances, practice sessions and preparations for the biggest competition on the international culinary calendar. Taking place every four years, the IKA Culinary Olympics is the pinnacle of any chef’s career.

Team manager, Trevor Boyd, executive chef at The Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, has been involved in the Culinary Olympics for the past 20 years. He knows the extraordinary demands of this calibre of competition and has trained the chefs hard – some seasoned Olympic chefs and others newcomers – in preparation. The journey began nearly three years ago with 16 chefs, now down to seven chefs, with six competing.

Next up for the team is the gala send-off dinner on 18 January 2020 at The Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton, followed by the farewell event at City Lodge Hotel OR Tambo International Airport on 9 February 2020.

The City Lodge Hotel Group is once again accommodation sponsor for the team during its monthly practice sessions in Johannesburg. Chief operating office, Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, says: “It is always an honour to be involved in developing young people in the hospitality industry, from chefs to hoteliers. We are proud of our Olympic Culinary Team and wish them great success at the IKA Culinary Olympics – go for gold as we know you can!”

The challenge:

“On the four competition days from 15 to 18 February 2020 [winners announced on the 19th], the participants of the IKA/Culinary Olympics have only one objective: to gain as many points as possible. They work with high concentration and always under the rigorous eyes of the omnipresent jury. Every individual plate must be perfect since the competitors do not know which one is going to be judged. The results are ingenious ideas and creations which participants and visitors will still remember years later. During the IKA/Culinary Olympics, chefs from about 70 nations are competing – on their own or in teams.” Source:

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